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A Graded Course 


Grade 10 


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This course has been designed to present the young 
students a comprehensive Islamic education, comprising 
general Islamic knowledge based on the Quran and 
Hadith. Instead of teaching moral principles directly, 
they are taught through themes chosen from the Quran 
and other Islamic sources. Though basically intended for 
use as a school textbook, it is also an ideal tool for home 
schooling involving both the parents and children. In 
this way children will not only learn the ethical values 
conveyed by the message of Islam but will also be 
stimulated to want to know more about Islamic 
teachings when they grow up. 


Helping you build a family of faith 


ISBN 81-7898-451-2 


Islamic Studies 

A Graded Course 

Grade 10 

Farida Khanam 


Helping you build a family of faith 

First published 2005 
Reprinted 2010 
© Goodword Books 2010 

Goodword Books 

1, Nizamuddin West Market, New Delhi-110 013 
Printed in India 

see our complete catalogue at 


Introduction 6 

Unit -I 

The teachings of Islam 7 

(i) Justice 7 

(ii) Liberty 8 

(iii) Equality 1 1 

(iv) Tolerance 1 2 


Islamic Character 15 

(i) Greetings and manner of speech 1 5 

(ii) Relations with neighbours and relatives 17 

(iii) Respect for Life 1 8 

(iv) Respect for feelings and emotions 19 

(v) Respect for parents and elders 20 


Human values in Islam 23 

(i) The concept of human values 23 

(ii) The significance of the fundamentals of Islam in 

inculcating values. 25 

(iii) The upholding of the rules of human behaviour 2 8 

(a) Faithfulness 28 

(b) Honesty and truthfulness 29 

(c) Obedience 30 

(d) Politeness 3 1 

(e) Mercy 32 

(f) Being well-intentioned 34 

(g) Purity and cleanliness 35 


Human Rights in Islam 39 

(i) The importance of human rights in Islam 39 

(ii) A brief account of the following rights: 42 

(a) The right to Life 42 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 3 

(b) The right to Property 43 

(c) The right to self-respect 44 

(d) The right to freedom of speech and thought 45 

(e) The right to asylum 47 

(f) The right to privacy and personal freedom 48 

(g) The right to seek knowledge 50 

(h) The right of relations 50 

(i) The right of children 52 

(j) The right to belief 54 

(k) The right to freedom of expression and dissent 54 


The Status of Women 57 

(i) The status of women in pre-Quranic times. 57 

(ii) The rights of women in Islam 57 

(a) Equality in status 57 

(b) The right of inheritance 59 

(c) Freedom in marriage 60 

(d) Mutual rights between man and woman 6 1 

(e) The significance of mahr (Dower) 6 1 


An Introduction to the Quran 65 

(i) What is revelation? 65 

(ii) The chain of revelations 68 

(a) The Towrah 68 

(b) The Zaboor 69 

(c) The Injeel 70 

(d) The Quran 7 1 

(iii) The Quranic view of the revelations 7 2 

(iv) The first revelation of the Quran 7 3 


Knowledge and the Quranic Teachings 77 

(i) The Quranic concept of knowledge 7 7 

(a) The Importance attached to knowledge in the Quran 77 

(b) Universality 79 

(c) The scientific approach 8 1 

4 Goodword Islamic Studies 

(ii) The Quranic Commandments 82 

(a) The lawful 82 

(b) The un-lawful. 84 


The Economic Teachings of the Quran 89 

(i) The economic activity of man 89 

(ii) Private and Public Enterprise 90 

(iii) The concept of zakat and sadaqah and their importance 92 

(iv) The utilization of the economic resources 95 


Introduction to the Hadith 99 

(i) The meaning of Hadith 99 

(ii) The compilation of Hadith 100 

(iii) Types of Hadith 103 

(iv) Some important Hadith collections (Sahay-al-Sittah) 104 


Introduction to Fiqh HI 

(i) The meaning of fiqh 111 

(ii) The origin and development of fiqh 112 

(iii) Sources of fiqh 115 

(a) The Quran 115 

(b) The Hadith 116 

(c) The Ijma 116 

(d) Qiyas 118 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 5 

<§ 0 * — ^ 


I slam is the religion of the universe. Everything in the universe submits 
itself to the Will of Allah. Therefore submission to Allah is the only true 
religion for both man and the universe. Everything or being in the 
universe, including man, must strictly obey the commands of Allah without 
any deviation or alteration. 

Indeed, the central characteristic of all followers of the Islamic faith is 
their belief in the one Allah. The word Islam literally means "surrender" or 
"submission," and those who follow the religion are called Muslims. A 
Muslim then is one who surrenders or submits completely to the Will of 
Allah. Submission to Allah, however, is not a passive but a positive act of 
bringing one's likes and dislikes, attitudes and behaviour into harmony 
with Allah's Will. Correct belief and action together are absolutely vital. 
One is worthless without the other. Furthermore, a true Muslim believes 
that submission and obedience to the Will of Allah is the only way in which 
an individual can ever achieve real peace of mind and heart. The knowledge 
he needs to have of the Will of Allah must inevitably be derived from the 
Quran, the last of the divine books revealed by Allah to His Final Prophet. 

Following Islam also means living in harmony with nature. And this in 
turn means that at all times man must unfailingly do as Allah desires. 
Moreover, he should lead his life acknowledging the greatness of his Creator 
and showing appreciation of His favours. He should focus all his attention 
on Allah alone, who is the Creator of everything on this earth and in the 
universe. He should entirely subordinate his intention and thinking to the 
Will of Allah. 

Doing as Allah enjoins creates harmony, earns Allah's favour and 
banishes evil; it follows, therefore, that an Islamic society based on the ideals 
of the Quran and the teachings of Allah's Last Messenger will necessarily 
be free of social ills. The root of all evil in this world is the lack of fear of 
Almighty Allah, while the presence of this fear is the secret of all good. A 
Muslim should bear it in mind that one day he will die and shall have to 
give an account of himself to Allah. There can be no better rein upon an 
individual's actions than the thought that Allah will one day call upon him 
to account for his deeds. 

6 Goodword Islamic Studies 


Teaching of 


Justice, ( adl in Arabic), is one of the 
attributes of God. Justice is a value which has 
been greatly emphasised in the Quran. 

According to the teachings of the Quran, it is 
an imperative which is unconditionally, 
universally and absolutely binding on 
everyone, under all circumstances and in all 
situations. It is binding without consideration 
of sex, caste, tribe or race. It is binding without 
regard to the distinction of Muslim and non- 
Muslim, the ruler and the ruled, the rich and 
the poor. Justice is the virtue nearest to the virtue of piety, and, as such, is 
the basis of Islamic social ethics. 

The verses of the Quran tell us that God is the best and the most just of 
all the judges: He does not do the least injustice to anyone, and loves those 
who are just. 

There are several authentic traditions about the execution of justice in 
all cases without any regard for rank or status. 

According to a saying of the Prophet, the first of the people taken to 
inhabit paradise, will be "a just king, a doer of good to his people." 

One of the very important demands of justice is that we should deal 
justly with others. In no circumstances should we follow the path of injustice 
or oppression. That is why Islam has laid great stress on adopting a just 

The Quran states: 'God enjoins justice and kindness' (16:90). At another 
place the Quran has this to say: 'My Lord enjoins justice." (7:29) The material 
symbol of justice is a weighing scale. Just as a balance divides things in 
proper measure, so should man's acts and deeds tip the scales in favour of 
justice. In any contentious situation, man ought to act fairly and, when he 

Goodzuord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


speaks, his words should be weighed by the measure of reality. 

The Quran has repeatedly commanded that social issues should always 
be resolved with justice. For instance, the Quran says: 'God commands you 
to pass judgement upon men with fairness 7 (4:58). Similarly it says, 'Give 
just weight and full measure... speak for justice, even if it affects your own 
kinsmen.' (6:153) 

Those who have been deprived of their rights in this world and have 
just claims, will be duly requited on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet of 
Islam said: 'On the Day of Judgement, rights will be given to those, to whom 
they are due (and wrongs will be redressed)...' 

God is just in all His doings. He gives to each one what he deserves and 
puts everything in its proper place: 'Surely God shall not wrong anyone by 
so much as the weight of an ant/ (4:40) 

There is nothing God hates more than injustice and transgression. That 
is why the prophets were sent by God with the divine code of justice. He 
said: 'O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made 
it forbidden amongst you. So do not oppress one another.' (Muslim). 

At another place He commands that in controversial matters peace 
should be made between antagonists 'in equity and justice/ (49:9) 

It is a general command, for in the family and in society differences will 
always arise. On such occasions, it is the duty of all the concerned members 
to settle the matter in accordance with justice without tilting towards any 
party. The settlement should be made according to the demands of justice 
and truth. 

Then the Quran enjoins: 

"O believers, be dutiful to God and bearers of just witness. Do not allow 
your hatred for other men to turn you away from justice. Deal justly; 
justice is nearer to true piety." (5:8) 

This shows the great importance of justice. That is why we have to adhere 
to justice, even when dealing with the enemy. Since the system of the earth 
and the heavens is established on be basis of perfect justice, man's code of 
conduct should likewise be based on justice. In this world of God, there is 
no place for the path of injustice. 


When Islam came into the world in the seventh century A.D., it was a 
time when religious persecution was prevalent, but it is noteworthy that it 
remained uninfluenced by the common practices of the time. Islam, running 
counter to the age, proclaimed religious freedom. Although a missionary 

8 Goodword Islamic Studies 

religion, it was against any imposition 
of restrictions on human thought, which 
meant that there should be no forced 
conversion. In his book. The Preaching of 
Islam, Professor T.W. Arnold has gone 
into considerable detail to show that 
under Islamic rule, other religions were 
allowed full freedom. He writes, that the 
provinces of the Byzantine empire that 
were rapidly acquired by the prowess 
of Muslims found themselves enjoying 
such toleration such as had been 
unknown to them for centuries. They were allowed the free and undisturbed 
exercise of their religion. The extent of this toleration - so striking in the 
history of the seventh century - may be judged from the liberality of the 
terms granted to the conquered cities. 

Compulsion Impermissible 

According to the Quran, There is no compulsion in religion. The right 
direction is now distinct from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in 
God has grasped the firmest handle that will never break/ (2:256). 

The verse of the Quran expresses the fundamental principle of Islam, 
according to which, if a person believes in the truth of something, he has 
every right to proclaim it as such, provided that he supports it by logical 
arguments. His task is complete once he has described his belief in the 
clearest possible way. But he has no right to compel others to accept it. 
Whoever accepts the truth does so for his own benefit and whoever denies 
it does harm only to himself. 

Freedom For All 

The Quran states: 

'Say, the truth is from your Lord. Let him who will believe it, and let 
him who will reject it.' (18:29) 

This also clearly expresses the notion that truth is something which 
should be accepted or rejected by one's own decision, and not something 
which should be imposed upon one. The resulting belief is valid only if it is 
the outcome of one's own conscious decision. 

Goodivord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


No One Should Assume The Right To Be Another's Keeper 

A preacher's mission is to convey the truth to the members of his 
congregation. And once he has done that, he has fulfilled his religious 
obligation. It is not part of his task to compel others to accept what he says. 
It is significant that in the Quran God thus admonishes the Prophet: 'Remind 
them, for you are only one of the wamers. You are not at all a warder over 
them.' (88:21-22). 

Respect For The Religions Of Others 

Certain of the companions of the Prophet of Islam, in their zeal to 
propagate the new faith, began to abuse those who worshipped other gods 
besides God. But this incurred God's displeasure, and the following verse 
was revealed in the Quran: 

'Do not revile the idols which they invoke besides God, lest in their 
ignorance they should spitefully revile God.' (6:108). 

The freedom of religion advocated in this verse can be explained as a 
policy of mutual benefit. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, the price 
we must pay is the granting of the same right of freedom to others. There 
can be no exclusivity about freedom if there is to be justice in this world. 
Only if we grant others their legal rights, will they be willing to reciprocate 
in like manner. But if we abuse or coerce them, we should expect to have 
the same treatment at their hands. The result would be that there would be 
no religious freedom whatsoever, regardless of whether society k 
were of only two or of multiple religious persuasions. I 


Permitting Non-muslims To Worship In Mosques 

How far Islam goes along the road to religious freedom is 
made clear by an event which occurred in the Prophet's lifetime. lj j ^ 

The famous eighth century biographer, Ibn Ishaq, records how 
a delegation of Yemenese Christians came to see the Prophet ^ < 
of Islam and had a long dialogue with him 
in his mosque in Madinah, which went 
on until the Christian's hour for prayer 
came. They then expressed a desire 
to worship there, according to their 
own rites, in this mosque which is 
considered by Muslims to be 
second in importance only to the 
Masjid-e-Haram in Mecca. 

Tradition has it that they were 


10 Goodioord Islamic Studies 

beginning their devotions when one of the Muslims attempted to stop them 
from praying in the Christian way. But the Prophet intervened, and asked 
him to refrain from interrupting them, and they were thus permitted to 
complete their prayers inside the mosque. 

On the question of religious tolerance, everyone must be granted the 
right to present his thoughts, and to be given a quiet hearing. This does not 
mean, however, that everyone is right, or -*that Islam believes in the manyness 
of truth. On the contrary, Islam believes in the oneness of reality. Even so, 
the truth is not something to be forced upon one, but something, which one 
is gently assisted to go in quest of as a matter of personal discovery. In this 
respect, Islam is the greatest upholder of religious freedom. 


According to Islamic 
tenets, all members of the 
congregational prayer stand 
together to pray in the same 
rows and, on the Hajj 
pilgrimage, all the believers 
belonging to different 
countries gather in white 
seamless robes for the 
performance of the 
obligatory rites. On the 
occasion of the Final 
Pilgrimage, it is noteworthy 
that the Prophet of Islam declared that no Arab was superior to a non-Arab 
and that no white was superior to a black. All were equally servants of God. 
In Islamic society, everyone is accorded the same status, there being no higher 
or lower social strata. 

How then can we rationalise what are apparently very great differences 
in human beings in terms of colour and race, etc., considering that the concept 
of human equality ranks so high in the value system of Islam? We find the 
answer in the Quran, which makes it clear that such outward differences are 
meant to serve as means of identification and were never intended as 
indicators of superiority (or inferiority). People in different parts of the world 
may have a diversity of skin texture, complexion and other distinctive racial 
characteristics, but that is only so that they may be easily distinguished 
from each other. By Islamic standards, this is designed to facilitate social 
and national interaction. 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 11 

The sole basis of superiority in Islam is taqzua - the earnestness with 
which one leads a God-fearing life; as such, it bears no relation to colour, 
race or status in society. Physical attributes certainly have their effect on the 
social interaction of this world, but in the Hereafter, no value is attached to 
them. There, the only things which count are inner qualities, for, upon them 
depends the essential excellence of man's distinctive character. That is why, 
according to a hadith, God sees the heart and not the body of the believer. 
He reserves a place in Paradise only for those found deserving in terms 
of their inner worth. 

Abdullah ibn Masud once asked the Prophet what action was best. 
"Praying at the proper time," he replied. "What comes next, Messenger of 
God?" "Not saying things which hurt others," the Prophet said. 

According to Islam, all greatness belongs to God. God as the Supreme 
Being is ineffably superior to all men. While there is this infinitely great 
difference between God and man, there is no difference whatsoever between 
man and man. 


Tolerance is a virtue which is noble, 
humanitarian and Islamic. Its practice 
means making concessions to others. 

Intolerance, on the other hand, means 
showing a self-centered unconcern for the 
needs of others. Tolerance is a worthy, 
humane virtue, which has been described 
in different terms in the shariah: for 
instance, gentle behaviour, showing 
concern for others, being soft-hearted and 

Only a true God-worshipper is able 
to look upon people with love and 
compassion, for his true spirit of 
religiosity does not allow him to expect 
anything from anyone. That is why, even 
when others differ from him or do not behave well towards him, he continues 
to make concessions to them, and shows them tolerance. 

Tolerance implies respect for others, whether in agreement or 
disagreement. A tolerant person always considers the case of others 
sympathetically, irrespective of the treatment he is given by them. 

Tolerance means, in essence, to give consideration to others. In social 

12 Goodzuord Islamic Studies 

life, friction between people does occur in every society. Differences arise 
from religion, culture, tradition and personal taste. In such a situation the 
superior course of action is to adopt the ways of concession and large- 

There is no doubt about it that divergence of views does exist between 
man and man. Differences are bound to exist everywhere, at the level of the 
family or society, the community or the country. 

In the creation plan of God, roses can be had only by tolerating the 
existence of thorns. Similarly, a peaceful society can be created by fostering 
the spirit of tolerance towards diversities. In this world, unity is achievable 
only by learning to unite in spite of differences. For removal of all differences 
is an impossibility. 

There is nothing wrong in diversity of opinions. In fact, this is a positive 
feature which has many advantages. There will be no intellectual 
development in a society where controversial discussions do not take place, 
and whose members hold identical views. For in intellectual development 
an interaction of divergent thinking plays a pivotal role. 

Besides this, divergence of views also plays an important role in the 
development of the human psyche. 

The habit of tolerance prevents a man from wasting his time and talent 
on unnecessary matters. When one is emotionally untouched by negative 
behaviour, one will be able to continue to perform one's work in the normal 
way> without wasting a single moment. Thus the policy of tolerance or 
forbearance enhances our efficacy, while intolerant behaviour reduces it. 

Tolerance is a permanent human requirement. That is why all the great 
religions of the world have attached great importance to tolerance. Religion 
aims fat making an individual a spiritually developed human being. One 
who has elevated his spirituality cannot afford intolerance. The behaviour 
of a truly religious person is always one of tolerance. 

The Semitic religions believe in the oneness of reality. The basis of 
tolerance in Aryan religions that of mutual recognition, while the basis of 
tolerance in Semitic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) is that of 
mutual respect. The difference is purely philosophic. So far as practical 
behaviour is concerned, there is no difference in any religion in this respect. 

Tolerance is not an act of compulsion. It is a positive principle of life, 
expressing the noble side of a person's character. The existence of tolerant 
human beings in a society is just like the blooming of flowers in a garden. 

To sum it up, the spirit of tolerance is the essence of all religions. 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 



(i) Justice 

1. Which names of God point to the aspect of justice? 

2. Why should we deal justly with others? 

3. How should social issues be resolved in Islam? 

4. Why is it important to adhere to justice even when dealing with an 

5. Why is oppression forbidden in Islam? 

(ii) Liberty 

1 . Why did Islam lay great stress on religious freedom? 

2. Why is compulsion not permissible in Islam? 

3. Why does Islam preach individual freedom of decision? 

4. Why should one respect others’ religious beliefs? 

5. Are non-Muslims permitted to worship in a mosque? 

6. Why is one not allowed to infringe on the rights of others? 

(iii) Human equality 

1 . How are all human beings equal in Islam? 

2. What is ‘taqwa'l 

3. Why did the Prophet give great importance to not hurting others? 

(iv) Tolerance 

1 . What does the practice of tolerance mean? 

2. How should one behave towards men who hold different views? 

3. How is toleration a positive principle in life? 

4. What is meant by the statement: The spirit of tolerance is the 
essence of all religions’? 

14 Goodword Islamic Studies 





Islam possesses a whole code of correct behaviour to be followed. It 
teaches its believers how to behave on meeting a person or how to greet 
him in the proper manner. It lays stress on speaking the truth, being able to 
take criticism without becoming offended, never raising one's voice while 
talking to others, keeping one's word and acting with honesty in every 

Islam tells Muslims how to greet their brothers when meeting them. 
They should say Assalamu alaikum that is, 'Peace be upon you'. The other 
person should say in return 'And peace be upon you too.' 

There are numerous verses of the Quran and also many traditions that 
enjoin believers to extend greetings to one another most generously: 'And 
when you are greeted with a greeting, greet with one better than it, or return 
it. Surely God takes account of all things.' (4:86). 

This is further elaborated upon in the following verse: 'You who believe, 
do not enter houses other than your own, until you have asked permission 
and saluted their inmates. This is better for you, so that you may be mindful.' 
(of what is seemly) (24:27). 

Similarly, the traditions of the Prophets attached great importance to 

'Abu Hurayrah recorded the Messenger of God as saying: There are six 
duties of one believer to another believer: he will visit him when he falls ill: 
he will be present before him when he dies; he will respond to him when he 
invites him; he will salute him when he meets him; he will respond to him 
when he sneezes and he will seek his good whether he is absent or present.' 

Another tradition says: 'The best of men of God is he who begins with a 
greeting.' (Tirmizi, Abu Daud). 

The greeting of one Muslim to another is Assalamu alaikum. Salam means 
peace. Therefore a Muslim is a person in whose hands the property of another 
is safe. The reply wa alaikum us salam also means the same, that is, it is a 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


confirmation that he is sure that the other's life, property and honour are 
safe from him. Greeting is completed by handshaking. Shaking hands, a 
sign of love and affection, is also a sunnah of the Prophet. 

Qatadah, a traditionist and a successor once asked Anas, a Companion 
of the Prophet: 'Was there any handshaking among the Companions of the 
Prophet?' He replied: 'Yes.' (Bukhari) 

Bar'a ibn Azib reported that the Prophet said: 'There are no Muslims 
who meet and shake hands but they both forgive each other before parting.' 
(Tirmizi, Ibn Majah). 

The Islamic greeting is a form of prayer. A believer is the well-wisher of 
all the other believers. He has good feelings in his heart towards others. 

The traditions of the Prophet contain many pieces of advice on how to 
behave towards other human beings and how to conduct oneself in society. 
The Prophet often said that one who does not control his tongue is evil: 
'Shall I tell you who the evil ones are?' asked the Prophet of his Companions 
one day. They requested him to do so, and he said, 'They are those who 
spread slander, who sow the seeds of dissension among friends, and who 
seek to lay blame upon the innocent.' Also, according to Ali ibn Abu Talib, 
the very worst thing one can do is make a wrongful accusation against an 
innocent person. 

Another tradition states, it is in the tongues of men that Heaven and 
Hell reside. 'According to Abu Darda, there is no part of a believer's body 
which is dearer to God than his tongue, for it is with his tongue that he 
upholds the truth, thereby entering Paradise. And there is no part of a 
disbeliever's body, which is more hateful to God than his tongue, for it is 
with his tongue that he denies the truth, thereby entering the Fire.' 

The Prophet once said: 'When you speak, do so in a good cause. That 
will serve your interests. And refrain from harmful speech. In that way, you 
too will be saved from harm.' (Al-Tabarani). The Prophet also said: 'A true 
believer does not insult or curse people: neither does he use foul or vulgar 
language.' (Al-Tirmidhi). 

Therefore, neither should one indulge in casting aspersions on one's 
fellow men, nor should one waste time on idle talk. 

The Prophet Muhammad once observed that the most sinful people 
were those who indulged in the most vain talk. A group of people, who 
once came to visit a Companion of the Prophet who lay dying, noticed that 
his face was radiating light, and they asked him how this came to be. There 
are only two aspects of my behaviour which I feel certain will explain this,' 
he replied. 'One was that I used to avoid vain talk, and the other was that I 
harboured no ill-feeling in my heart towards other Muslims.' (Jami Al-Ulum 
Wa Al-Hikam). 

The ability to take criticism was considered to be a positive virtue by 

16 Goodword Islamic Studies 

the Prophet. In a tradition attributed to Saeed ibn Abu Aroobah, the Prophet 
said: 'One who does not listen to criticism is not to be counted among the 
learned/ (Ibn Abdil Barr). 

The Prophet also clearly advised against expressing disdain for food. 
'Whatever the dish brought before the Prophet, he would never say anything 
disparaging about it. According to Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet was never in 
the habit of finding fault with food. If he liked something, he ate it; if not, he 
left it.' (Al-Bukhari, Muslim). 

Good manners in speech and greetings occupy an important part of the 
Prophet's advice to believers and serve also as a guideline for today. 


Neighbours are our nearest companions. After family members, it is 
neighbours one comes in contact with the most. Developing good relations 
with neighbours, is therefore, an important aspect of a God-oriented life. 

A neighbour, be he a co-religionist or an adherent of another religion, 
be he of one's own community or of another, must always be taken good 
care of. He must be given his dues at all times, according to the demands of 
the shariah and of humanity. 

According to a hadith, the Prophet of Islam once observed, "By God, 
anyone who is a threat to his neighbour is no believer." 

According to this hadith, if a Muslim becomes a source of trouble to his 
neighbours, his faith itself will become suspect. 

The humanity of an individual and his religiosity and spirituality are 
tested by the way he behaves towards his neighbours. The nature of his 
relationships with neighbours serves as a test of whether he has human 
feelings or not, and whether he is sensitive to Islamic teachings or not. 

If a person's neighbours are happy with him, that is a proof of his being 
a good man, but if his neighbours are unhappy with him, that is a proof that 
his behaviour leaves much to be desired. 

The commands in the shariah regarding neighbours indicate that a 
believer must make concessions to his neighbours unilaterally, that is, by 
doing good to them even if they are ill-behaved towards him. 

Being a good neighbour is the first step towards becoming a good 
human being. It is the good neighbour who will have a share in God's 
blessings in the Hereafter. 

According to a hadith, "To God the best companion is one who is best 
for his companion and the best neighbour is one who is best for his 
neighbour." (At- Tirmizi) 

The Quran goes further with the more specific injunction to "show 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


kindness to near and distant neighbours, to fellow travellers and to 
wayfarers/' (4:36) 

This means that it is incumbent upon us to behave well towards all 
kinds of neighbours, whether they are permanent residents of the 
neighbourhood, or are only living there temporarily for the purposes of 
education, business or travel, etc. Wherever one is living in close proximity 
to others, one must feel obliged to observe their rights as human beings. No 
one should be the cause of trouble to his neighbour. On a separate occasion, 
the Prophet observed, "One who believes in God should not give trouble to 
his neighbour" and "One who believes in God should accord due respect 
to his neighbours." (Al-Bukhari) As an individual, therefore, a Muslim must 
be a good neighbour, while, on the larger scale of the community, Muslims 
should also prove to be good neighbours at the national level. 

The Prophet, again on two separate occasions, thus defined the essence 
of good neighbourliness: "By God, a person cannot be a believer (that is, a 
Muslim) until and unless he likes for his neighbours and for his brother 
what he likes for himself." "A person from whose evils his neighbour is not 
safe will not go to heaven." (Sahih Muslim) 


Muslims believe that, whether they are aware of it or not, all human 
beings are the creations of God, and loved by Him. But it is not only human 
beings who are endowed with life. There are also animals and plants, which 
have been given life by God, though they do not possess the kind of 
intelligence, which is the sole prerogative of man. However, Islam commands 
respects for all kinds of life. It forbids the killing of other human beings, 
brutality to animals and even destroying the living environment in which 
we live. 

Life is sacred and is considered a divine gift, which is meant to be 
preserved, enjoyed and put to use according to the commandments of God. 
Life should never be ended without justification. No killing is allowed except 
on the battlefield and that only if the war fought is a defensive one. The 
taking of life as a punishment is the prerogative of a court of law and has to 
be subject to very strict rules drawn up by the jurists. This can never be 
done by an individual on the strength of his own personal decision-making. 

Life is not a human being's personal property, to be disposed of as an 
individual might wish, but a precious gift of God and a trust from Him. 
Therefore, one should take good care of one's life and health. No true Muslim 
should ever consider suicide as an option, even in the most difficult of 
circumstances. One should respect one's own life and trust in God to guide 

18 Goodzuord Islamic Studies 

one into a better future. 

A Muslim has a duty to protect all forms of life and treat them with 
respect, for God has created them all. No person, even in a position of 
greatness or power, has the right to usurp another's right to life. It is said 
that the first inhabitants of the eternal world will be the just kings. 

Every time a Muslim kills an animal for food, it should be done in a 
lawful method, as prescribed by the Quran and Sunnah. A prayer should 
accompany it. One should kill only in such quantity as is required for food. 
Wasteful killing of animals is considered as showing disrespect for the life 
created by God. 

Respect for life includes taking care of the environment and of eveiy 
living thing in its clean and healthy life can be lead only in a clean and 
healthy environment. While utilising natural resources, care must be taken 
not to endanger the environmental balance. Even the cutting down of trees, 
thus depleting the forests, may be considered as endangering the life of 
human beings as well as those of animals and plants. All of them require 
natural resources, which are bounties from God, to function in such a manner 
that would not create any disruption of the cycle of nature. 


To give shelter to those who 
have nowhere to go in society is 
an act of worship of the highest 
excellence. Every human being is 
liable to fall into need at some 
time: a mother and father reach the 
end of their lives; a child becomes 
an orphan; a traveller falls into 
difficulties far away from his 
native land; at times such as these, 
the individual is completely 
dependent on others. To come to 
his or her rescue at such times of crisis is a deed highly pleasing to God. 
God will not let such action go unrewarded. There are countless verses of 
the Quran and sayings of the Prophet of Islam, which emphasize the 
importance of being charitable to those in need. 

The reason that offering help to the helpless is so pleasing to God is that 
it is a practical acknowledgement that every man is inherently helpless before 
the Lord. It is not only those who are being helped who are helpless. Those 
who are helping them are in the same position, for everything is in God's 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 19 

hands: He gives and takes as He pleases. To realize this fact is to believe in 
God, and to express this realization in the form of actions pleasing to God is 
to worship Him. 

But the only way of telling if a person is true in his faith and his worship 
is to see how he deals with a weak and helpless human being. 

A person is brought before us in this world in the same state of 
helplessness in which we will be brought before God in the next world. If 
we see no urgent need to help him, so will likewise see no urgent need to 
help us out in the next world. We may not feel obliged to help him because 
he has done nothing for us: but then, by the same token, we will not be 
deserving of God's reward when we come before Him in the hereafter. But 
if we are kind to such a person, while praying to God that He should be 
kind to us when we come before Him in a state of need and destitution, then 
there is hope that God will look with favour upon our actions and our 

To be kind to those in need is to acknowledge that we are all in need; 
we all depend on God's mercy. We all stand alone; we are all in need of 
God's assistance. If we pray for God's mercy and help, then we should also 
show that we are willing to help others and show diem mercy. One who 
believes in God and sees how helpless he is before the Lord, should, when 
he sees the helplessness of others, immediately remember his own position; 
if he really desires God's assistance for himself, he should be quick to run to 
the assistance of others. 

One who really feels his own helplessness before God feels like giving 
away everything he has to the helpless, so that he in his turn may receive a 
full share in God's blessings. He feels compelled to do his utmost to give 
one in need a helping hand, so that God may come to his own rescue in his 
hour of dire need. 


One of the principal teachings of the Holy Quran is that one should 
show great respect to one's parents. In Islam, the love of parents and the 
duty owed to them stand higher than the love of children and the duty owed 
to them. 

The Quran says, "Your Lord commanded that you worship none but 
Him, and that you show kindness to parents. If one or both of them attain 
old age in your life-time, never be harsh to them, nor reproach them, but 
always speak gently to them. 

Be humbly tender with them and pray: "My Lord, have mercy on them, 
even as they nourished me when I was a child." (17: 24, 25) 

20 Coodword Islamic Studies 

This shows that, in old age, 
parents need to be tended as 
carefully and affectionately as little 
children are looked after in their 
childhood by their parents. 

The Prophet said: "Paradise 
lies at the feet of your mother." 

Once a man came to him and 
asked, "Messenger of Allah! 

Which of my relations has the prior 
claim to my devotions?" 

The Holy Prophet replied, "Your mother." 

The man asked, "And after her?" 

The Holy Prophet replied, "Your mother." 

The man asked a third time, "And after my mother." He still replied, 
"Your mother." 

When he asked for the fourth time, the Prophet replied, "Your father 
and after him other relations according to their degrees of kinship." 

When Makkah fell to the Muslims, and the Prophet entered the city, 
Abu Bakr brought his father, a very old man, to meet him. 

The Prophet said to Abu Bakr, "Why did you put your father to trouble 
by making him come to me? I would have gladly gone to see him myself." 

He has also said, "Most unfortunate is the person who is granted an 
opportunity to serve his parents, yet he fails to win Paradise through 
kindness towards them." 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 



(i) Greetings arid Manner of Speech 

1 . How should Muslims greet each other? 

2. What is the right behaviour on meeting somebody or entering a house? 

3. Why is greeting considered a form of prayer? 

4. How does greeting symbolize the attitude of peace and goodwill? 

5 . What is the proper way of speaking for a Muslim? 

6. Why is anger to be avoided? 

7. Why does God prefer reconciliation to a quarrel? 

(ii) Relations with neighbors and relatives. 

1 . Why are neighbours called our closest companions? 

2. Why are good relations with neighbours are considered a part of 

3 . Why should one make concessions to neighbours? 

4. How should one treat one’s relatives? 

5. Why are duties to neighbours and relatives considered so important in 

(iii) Respect for life 

1. Why is life so precious? 

2. Why should one never take somebody’s life? 

3. Why is it not allowed to take one’s own life in Islam? 

4. Why is God the Master of all life? 

(iv) Respect for feelings and emotions 

1. Who are the helpless in the society? 

2. What does Islam tell us to do for the helpless? 

3. Why is it pleasing to God when we are kind to the helpless? 

4. How do we all depend on God’s mercy? 

5 . How by helping others do we also help ourselves? 

6. How should we show our respect for other people’s feelings? 

(i) Respect for parents and elders. 

1 . Why is respect for parents considered one of the principle teachings 
of the Quran? 

2. What did the Prophet say about the status and respect of mothers? 

3 . How did the Prophet treat the elderly? 

22 Goodword Islamic Studies 


Human Values 
in Islam 


God, who created the human being and put him on the earth, endowed 
him with inborn, or innate knowledge and values. These innate values form 
a natural moral sense, which makes a person recognise what is good and 
beautiful, such as telling the truth, keeping promises and being grateful. 
This same moral sense also makes a person recognise what is bad and 
morally ugly such as telling lies, deceit and arrogance. 

The natural moral sense is one way in which the Creator has provided 
for the guidance of human beings. He has granted human beings a conscience, 
which registers right and wrong, and a mind, which has the ability to reason. 
He has made the whole universe a natural book full of signs that lead a 
thinking person to the existence of God, His power and His bounty. 

However, to make matters clearer, and to give man a more detailed 
knowledge of God, He showed him a very well specified way of relating to 
Him. This God did by sending to His people again and again messages 
through His prophets. Prophets were persons specially chosen by God to 
bring to the community practical guidance on how to stay on the right path. 
The last of the prophets was the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Quran 
was revealed to him as sure and clear guidance for all. Muhammad's 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


explanations of the revealed verses and his life itself offered further and 
more detailed clarification of how we are supposed to act in a way that is 
pleasing to God. As God abhors all that is not beautiful and true. His 
guidance served to develop in the believers a very sound system of human 
values based on the inborn human understanding of what is good and what 
is evil, given to man by God af the time of creation. 

'I was sent to perfect the best in moral characteristics/ said the Prophet 
describing his mission. While this points to the fact that the message he 
brought was not a new one, it also shows that the main purpose of this 
message was to make man live according to the highest moral standards 
which he is capable of. 

This saying of the Prophet may be linked to many verses in the Quran 
such as: 'Consider the human self and how it is formed in accordance with 
what it is meant to be. And how it is imbued with moral failings as well as 
with consciousness of God. He shall indeed attain to a happy state who 
causes this self to grow in purity. And truly lost is he who buries it (in 
darkness)/ (91:7-10) 

We know that creation is amazingly vast and intricate. Man too is a very 
intricate being who has been placed on earth to lead a life according to the 
moral values laid down by God. Only by abiding by them will he pass the 
trial on earth and attain the eternal life in the Hereafter. 

The human being, as mentioned earlier, was created with an inbuilt 
moral sense, which allows him to recognise what is true and good from 
what is false and evil. Through the call of the prophets and the revelation he 
was also offered divine guidance as to how to differentiate between the 
two. 'Good' may be defined as whatever is pleasing to God and therefore 
beneficial to man. 'Evil/ on the other hand, is whatever incurs the anger of 
God and is therefore, harmful to man. Although God created mankind in a 
state of natural goodness. He also created him with the capacity or power to 
do both good and evil. He gave him the freedom to choose between doing 
good and doing evil. However, only by doing good can he pass the divine 
test and achieve eternal life. 

To preserve the pure and sinless state in which man was bom and to 
keep him on the path to God, one has to keep away from and ward off evil. 
This is why taqwa or piety, which is repeatedly stressed in the Quran, is the 
most important quality a person could develop in relation to good and evil. 
Taqwa means to be conscious of God and to be careful of not overstepping 
the limits set by Him. It is a defence against evil and temptation. 

Therefore, when we speak of cultivating human values in Islam, we 
simply mean following the guidance of God. Doing things that are pleasing 
to Him is beneficial to us as this leads to salvation and the eternal life. The 
Quran does not merely ask people to do good, and refrain from evil. It 

24 Goodword Islamic Studies 

specifies the ways to achieve these ends. From this one can see that each 
person has a duty to cultivate good and desirable qualities, which are part 
of his natural make-up. And he has a duty to strive against bad traits and 

Islam's ethical and legal code, or shari'ah, is has its basis in the Quran 
and traditions. Some of the qualities that should be cultivated are 
truthfulness, honesty, reliability in fulfilling trusts, gentleness, politeness, 
courtesy, generosity, compassion and readiness to forgive, purity and 
decency, humility, patience and steadfastness, courage, thankfulness, 
dignity, honour, self-respect, good temper, perseverance, diligence and 
willingness to respect others. 

And the Quran says: 

' Verily , men and women who submit; and men and women who believe; 
and men and women who are patient; and men and women who are 
truthfid; and men and women who are humble before God; and men and 
women who give in charity; and men and women who fast; and men 
and women who guard their chastity ; and men and women who 
remember God much —to them God has promised forgiveness and a 
great reward.' (23:35) 

But lying, dishonesty, deceit, untrustworthiness, hypocrisy, harshness, 
miserliness, enviousness, hatred, shamelessness, self-conceit, opportunism 
and laziness are among the traits of human character one should fight against. 

In cultivating good qualities, it is important to remember the saying of 
the Prophet that the best deeds are those done regularly, even if they are 
small. This stresses the need to develop good habits, so that the practice of 
goodness becomes easy and natural and a matter of course. 


All the teachings of Islam are 
based on two basic principles — the 
worship of God and the service of 
mankind. Without putting both of 
these principles into practice, there 
can be no true fulfillment of one's 
religious duties. 

In its followers, Islam inculcates 
the spirit of love and respect for all 
human beings. On the one hand, by 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


serving human beings, they please their God, and on the other, they achieve 
spiritual progress for themselves. 

According to a hadith, you should be merciful to people on earth and 
God on high will be merciful to you. In this way Islam links personal salvation 
to serving others. One can receive God's reward in the Hereafter only if one 
has striven to alleviate the sufferings of mankind. 

According to another hadith, on Doomsday, God will say to a person, "I 
was ill, but you did not come to nurse Me." The man will reply, "God, You 
being the Lord of the universe, how can You be ill?" God will answer, "Such 
and such servant of Mine was ill. Had you gone there, you would have 
found Me there with him." Then God will say to another person, "I was 
hungry, but you did not feed Me." The person will reply, "God, You are the 
Lord of the worlds, how could You go hungry?" God will say, "Such and 
such of my servants came to you, but you did not feed him. Had you done 
so, you would have found Me with him." Then God will say to yet another 
man, "I was thirsty, and you did not give Me water to drink." That person 
will also say, "God, You are the Lord of the worlds, how could You be 
thirsty?" God will say, "Such and such servant of Mine came to you, but 
you did not give him water to drink. Had you offered him water, you would 
have found Me there with him." 

From this, we learn the Islamic principle that if someone wants to find 
God, he shall first have to make himself deserving of this by helping the 
poor and the needy. This act becomes a means of spiritual progress for him. 
And there is no doubt about it that it is only those people who have elevated 
themselves spiritually, who will find God. 

This culture of mercy and compassion approved of by God is not limited 
to human beings, but extends also to the animal world. We must be equally 
sympathetic to animals. The Hadith gives us many guidelines on how to 
look after animals and treat them with fairness, there being duties to them 
laid down by God. One who is cruel to animals risks depriving himself of 
God's mercy. 

Two significant examples have been mentioned in a hadith. One of them 
concerns a devoutly religious woman, who spent most of her time in worship. 
But one day she became enraged at a cat and trussed it up with a rope, 
depriving it of food and water. The cat remained tied up in this state until it 
died of thirst and hunger. God so strongly disapproved of this that, despite 
the woman's great devotions. He decreed that she be cast into hell. 

The other incident concerns a woman who, a prostitute by profession, 
was generally despised by people. One day she was going along a path 
when she found a dog lying on the ground dying of thirst. This woman felt 
sympathy for it. She looked here and there, but there was no water to be 
seen anywhere. Then she noticed a well nearby with water deep within it. 

26 Goodword Islamic Studies 

But there was nothing with which to draw water from it. Then she thought 
of her shawl to which she tied her shoe and, by lowering this into the well, 
she was able to bring up water, which she poured into the mouth of the 
dying dog. She did this several times until the dog's thirst was quenched. 
Then it revived and walked happily away. According to the Hadith God 
was so pleased with this human gesture that He decreed that she should 
enter paradise. 

This comparative example shows that over and above being kind to 
our fellow men, we must be merciful even to animals. Those men and women 
who have no feelings of mercy and compassion for living things are valueless 
in the eyes of God. On the other hand, those men and women who do have 
mercy and compassion for living things will be adjudged God's favoured 

Islamic belief softens the hearts of its believers. That is why, when Islamic 
belief penetrates people's hearts, they will of necessity become kind and 
compassionate to others. They will see everyone with eyes of 'love and 
compassion/ they will have this urge within them to serve others, and fulfill 
others' needs. 

If, even after adopting the beliefs of Islam, feelings of love and 
compassion do not well up in the heart of its adherent , he should rethink 
whether or not Islamic beliefs have truly found a place in his heart and 
mind, whether or not he is able to fully practice what he believes and whether 
or not he has succeeded in moulding himself entirely on the model of Islam. 

When Umar Faruq, the second Caliph of Islam, travelled from Madinah 
to Palestine, he had taken only one camel along with him. He said that, if he 
continued to ride the camel during the entire journey, it would be cruelty to 
the animal, so it must be given rest. Therefore, he rode and walked by turns 
so that the camel should have periods of rest, until he reached his 

This shows that if the true spirit of Islam is inculcated in a person, he 
becomes so compassionate to all living beings that, even at the cost of his 
own comforts, he extends a helping hand to others. 

As it is put in a hadith, "By God, he is not a Muslim who eats his fill, 
while his neighbour goes hungry." This shows that a Muslim is one who is 
as concerned with others' hunger and thirst as he is with his own; who is 
concerned not only with his own person but with the whole of humanity. 

According to another hadith, you should "extend greetings to people, 
feed them and earn your place in heaven." This shows that according to 
Islam that person is worthy of heaven whose heart is eager for others' peace 
and well-being, who is eager to share with everyone, whether it be food, 
clothes or medical help, etc. In short, one should share in people's pain and 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


Islam is a religion of humanity. Islam considers serving others as a great 
act of worship. According to the teachings of Islam, it is only in serving 
people that we shall have a share in God's mercy. 


(a) Faithfulness 

One of the marks of true believers is, according to the Quran, that they 
"faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants" (23:8). Maulana Shabbir 
Ahmad Usmani has briefly explained it in these words: "They do not commit 
any breach of trust and do not break promises, neither in the matter of God 
nor in the matter of men." (p. 443) 

Everything man has is given to him in trust by God or by man. In this 
way everyone is bound by certain promises and obligations. Some 
obligations are entered into by written or spoken agreement, while others 
are a matter of tacit understanding. Whatever the form of agreement, man 
has to faithfully fulfill all these trusts and obligations. If he fails to do so, he 
does not come up to the highest standards of humanity. He is proving himself 
guilty in the eyes of God. 

Man's body, heart and mind, are all like trusts bestowed on man by 
God. It is, therefore, incumbent upon man to make the best use of these 
endowments within the limits decreed by God. That is, his hands and feet 
should move only for the cause of justice, and not for tyranny. His mind 
should be full only of well-wishing and not of ill-will. Similarly all the trusts 
by which he is bound should be discharged to the trustees, whether these 
trusts are in written or in verbal form. He should never regard another's 
possessions as his own. 

Everyone is bound by obligations, in relation on the one hand to man 
and on the other to God. According to the Quran, trust of two kinds stems 
from God; one is the inherent sense of responsibility man is born with; this 
form of trust is binding upon all human beings bom on this earth. Another 
form of trust is that which arises from faith in God. Only those are bound by 
this sense of commitment who have embraced God's religion as brought to 
them by God's messenger: in this sense, the believers are consciously bound 
in trust. So far as the matter of trust as regards man is concerned, some 
obligations are incurred from time to time as they arise in particular and are 
set down in contracts, while others automatically devolve upon individuals, 
either as family members, or as citizens of the state, living in society. 

28 Goodword Islamic Studies 

Discharging all these trusts and obligations is man's duty, in obedience both 
to his own nature and to the Shariah. 

(b) Honesty and Truthfulness 

The Quran defines 
believers as men and women 
who speak the truth. The 
noblest quality in a man or 
woman is honesty and 
avoidance of falsehood at all 
times. Indeed, nothing less 
than absolute truthfulness 
befits the human character. 

Many traditions have been 
related, which show the 
importance of honesty and truth. For instance, according to one tradition, 
the Prophet of Islam observed: 'You should speak the truth, because 
speaking the truth leads man to a life of virtue. And you should keep your 
distance from someone who tells lies, because telling lies leads man to a life 
of evil/ 

This hadith commands us to speak the truth and it also tells us the 
wisdom of speaking the truth. When a man genuinely takes care to speak 
the truth, he develops a truth-loving personality. The colour of truth 
dominates his temperament and thinking. A soul is nurtured within him 
that is free of all the evils of psychological complexes. In this way there is 
nothing to prevent the basic quality of honesty from shining through on all 

On the contrary, one who whenever speaking, utters falsehoods, is 
sullying his inner self. Purity of soul does not develop within him. He 
becomes more and more immersed in evil. This is why, according to a 
hadith, the Prophet observed: 'The best utterance to me is that of the truth. 
The trader who is truthful and trustworthy will be raised on Doomsday 
along with the Prophets.' (Bukhari) 

A believer in God is also necessarily a truth-loving person. He always 
speaks the truth. In all matters he says just what is in acccordance with reality. 
A true believer cannot afford to tell lies, or hide facts. What does it mean to 
speak the truth? It means avoiding contradiction between man's knowledge 
of things and the words he utters. For that matter, whatever he says should 
be what has come to his knowledge. Falsehood, by contrast, is the utterance 
of statements, which do not tally with reality. Truth is the highest virtue of a 
believer's character. A believer is a man of principle. And, for such a person. 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


telling the truth is most important. For him no other behaviour is even 
possible, for he finds it impossible to deny the truth. 

The world of God is based wholly on truth. Here everything expresses 
itself in its real form. The sun, the moon, rivers, mountains, stars and planets 
are all based on truth. They appear just as they really are. In this unfathomably 
vast universe of God, there is nothing that is based on untruth. There is 
nothing that shows itself in any other form than its real form. 

This is the character of nature, which pervades the entire universe. A 
believer too has exactly the same character. He is totally free from falsehood 
or double standards. A believer is all truth. His whole existence is moulded 
upon truth. From the very first he appears to be a true person both inside 
and outside. 

Speaking the truth is not only a matter of policy for the believer: it is his 
very religion. Compromising in the matter of truth is not possible for him. 
He speaks the truth because he knows that not speaking the truth is the 
negation of his own personality and a commitment to something that is the 
negation of the self. And this is not possible for any worthy person. 

(c) Obedience 

Man is free in this world. God has not placed on him any curbs 
whatsoever. But the purpose of this freedom is merely to put man to the 
test. It is not meant to encourage him to lead a life of permissiveness, like 
the animals, and then, one day, just pass away and disappear from this 
world. Rather its purpose is that man should lead a morally upright life of 
his own free will, thus demonstrating that he is God's humble servant and 
that the only way of life that becomes him is a life of obedience. 

One who conducts himself in this matter as is expected of him by God, 
should be reckoned as God's special servant who, without any apparent 
compulsion, chose to be a man of principle; and who, without being 
subjected to any external force, of his own free will obeyed his Lord as He 
would have desired. This liberty accorded to man gives him the opportunity 
to gain credit for being the most superior of God's creatures. 

All the things in this world are God's subjects. The stars and planets 
rotate in space doing their Lord's bidding. Trees, rivers, mountains, and all 
other such natural phenomena function according to the unchangeable laws 
of God laid down by Him at the outset. Similarly, the animals follow exactly 
the instincts instilled in their species by the Divine Will. Man is the only 
creature of God who has been given, exceptionally, the gift of power and 

This freedom has opened doors of two kinds for man, one leading to 
obedience and the other to disobedience. If, on receiving freedom an 
individual becomes arrogant, insolent and disobedient, it will mean that 

30 Goodword Islamic Studies 

he has failed to pass the test. 

But if on the other hand, 
he remains modest and 
humble, obeying his Lord's 
will on all occasions, he will 
have made the right use of his 
God-given freedom: he will, 
without any compulsion, 
have bound himself by 
divine principles. One who 
chooses this course will 
succeed in the test of 

A true believer makes himself subservient to God and His Prophet. He 
obeys God and His Prophet irrespective of whether the command is in 
accordance with his wishes or not. 

In the life Hereafter success is for those who bow down before the 
commandments of God and His Prophet. Realisation of God seizes his heart 
to the extent that he fears Him most. To save himself from the displeasure of 
God becomes the greatest concern of his life. The obedient servants of God 
will be held to be God's chosen people and they will remain in an everlasting 
state of blissfulness and biassedness. 

(d) Politeness 

After adopting the teachings of Islam, the attitude formed in the believer 
is that of politeness and gentleness. In Islam man discovers the reality that 
God is great (Allahu Akbar). This discovery brings to him the realization that 
greatness belongs to God alone; it does not belong to him or to anyone else. 
As a result, modesty, humility, tolerance and politeness are engendered 
within him. For, it is a condition necessary for adherence to the path of 
gentle behaviour to have a temperament marked by the virtues mentioned 
above, in particular, the maximum degree of tolerance coupled with great 

As a result of the wrong thinking and misdeeds of others, we are 
repeatedly faced with unpleasant experiences in this present world. Hence 
only those can firmly tread the path of politeness and gentleness who are 
able to refrain from the psychology of reaction. That is why true believers 
are described in the Quran as "those who curb their anger and those who 
forgive their fellow men." (3: 134) 

According to a tradition recorded by Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet 
once observed: "God is gentle and loves gentleness in every matter." On 
another occasion, the Prophet thus expressed the same idea: "God is gentle 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


and loves gentleness. He grants to gentleness what he does not grant to 
harshness or to any other thing." Similarly there is another hadith to this 
effect: "One who is bereft of gentleness will be bereft of all goodness." (Sahih, 

Muslims should therefore never be short-tempered and should not raise 
their voice at others. The Quran says: "Be modest in your behaviour and 
lower your voice: "for the ugliest of all voices is the braying of a donkey." 
(31: 19) 

Muslims should be polite in their interactions and dealings. They should 
be polite to parents, brothers, sisters, neighbours, teachers, elders, old 
people, friends and persons in need of help. Even if someone behaves rudely, 
one should not retaliate in the same manner. 

In a contentious situation, if we treat people with haughtiness, it will 
aggravate the situation, hurt their egos and lead to the escalation of the 
trouble. If, instead, we opt for gentle behaviour in our dealings, it will 
awaken peoples' consciences. Now the result will be quite the opposite. If 
earlier the person concerned was our opponent, he will now be our friend. 
Gentle behaviour turns even our direst enemies into friends. The Quran has 
this to say: "The good deed and evil deed cannot be equal. Repel the evil 
with one which is better, then verily he will become as though he was a 
close friend." (41: 34) 

In fact, the greatest weapon of a believer is to treat people well. Even if 
people are not good to him, he should be good to them. He should adopt 
the policy of avoidance in the face of provocation or irritating behaviour 
and instead exercise patience in all such situations. Every believer has the 
duty to seek the protection of God from such negative feelings, rather than 
act upon them. 

(e) Mercy 

Islamic culture is one of 
mercy (rahmat). Islam teaches its 
followers that, when they meet 
one another, they should 
address one another with such 
words as "May peace and God's 
blessings be upon you." Even 
when one sneezes, one should 
say, "May God be praised," and 
the others sitting with him will 
respond, "May God bless you." 

When the believer enters the mosque, he should say: "May God open the 
gates of mercy to me." Similarly, when worshippers have concluded their 

32 Goodzuord Islamic Studies 

prayer, they are to turn their faces sideways and say: "May God's blessings 
and peace be upon you." 

In this way, on all occasions and at every stage, the phrases of peace 
and mercy come readily to the lips of the believer. Thinking and speaking 
in terms of mercy become, in fact, the distinguishing features of the believers. 
Their whole life is moulded by the demands of mercy and compassion. 

The Prophet often uttered such phrases as, "May God bless the man, 
may God bless the woman." This goes to show what type of attitude Islam 
wants to develop in its adherents. This is the culture of rahmat and love. 
Islam demands that on all occasions human beings should be well- 
intentioned towards each other; on all occasions man should offer the gifts 
of love and compassion to others. 

God's attributes are given in the Quran as 'The Compassionate', 'The 
Merciful'. That is, very kind and sympathetic. Similarly, the Prophet of Islam 
has been called 'A Mercy to the Worlds' (21: 107). That is, the Prophet of 
Islam has been sent as a blessing to the whole world. The greatest 
distinguishing feature of the Prophet is his being the instrument of universal 

The Quran, as a matter of divine guidance, urges people to exercise 
patience and compassion in their dealings with one another. This means 
that everyone should treat others with sympathy and kindness. Even when 
one experiences unkindness from others, one should not return unkindness 
for unkindness, but should continue to behave sympathetically. This Quranic 
verse, " and they exhort one another to patience and compassion" means 
that creatures of God (human beings) ought to be dealt with mercifully. 

Of all matters which are of great personal importance, the virtue of mercy 
is ranked as the foremost. That is why the Prophet of Islam observes: "God 
will not show mercy to one who does not show mercy to others." ( Sahih al- 
Bukhari, Kitab al- Tawhid). 

We learn of 99 names of the attributes of God from the Quran, some of 
these being: 


Most Merciful 


Most Compassionate 


Most Loving 


Most Peace Loving 


Most Gentle 


Most Forgiving 


Most Beautiful 

As these names suggest, God's mercy for His servants is boundless. It 
follows that His servants should in like manner show mercy and compassion 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 33 

for one another. The hadith endorses this by exhorting all human beings to 
adopt a divine code of ethics based on love and compassion for fellow human 

It is certainly incumbent upon all of the faithful to foster a loving, caring 
attitude towards others and to recognize that, in showing love and 
compassion to their fellow men, they are following a course of right action. 
According to a Hadith, God said: "My mercy prevails over My wrath." 

He may reward good deeds and punish the wrongdoer, but there is 
always scope within His scheme of things to have regard for sincere 
repentance and to show His divine mercy. 

Once the Prophet of Islam saw a woman cooking food over a fire, while 
holding a baby in her arms. The Prophet asked his companions whether 
they thought it possible for this woman to throw her baby into the fire. They 
replied that never could such a thing happen. The Prophet replied that God 
loved His servants more than this woman loved her child. 

God's compassion is so great that no sin is beyond forgiveness. However 
much a servant sins, if at any stage before his death he truly repents and 
seeks God's pardon, all his sins will be forgiven. However, in God's court, 
it is sincerity which is of prime value, not lip service. 

The first verse of the Qur' an: 'In the name of God, the most beneficent, 
the most merciful,' has been repeated 114 times throughout the text. This 
shows that Mercy and Compassion are the most important of God's 
attributes. Besides these 114 times, these words occur at many other places 
in the Holy Scriptures. 

Islam is thus a religion of love and mercy. The Quran itself is a message 
of love and mercy from the Most Merciful God to His creatures. God Himself 
is All-Merciful and He desires His servants to live in this world as merciful 

(f) Intentions 

Islam attaches the utmost 
importance to intentions (niyyah). 

No action is acceptable to God 
purely on the basis of its outer 
appearance. He accepts only such 
actions as are performed with 
proper intention, and rejects those 
performed with ill-intention. 

Right intention is the moral 
purposiveness which underlies all 
actions performed solely for 
God's pleasure. One who acts on 

34 I Goocizvord Islamic Studies 

such feelings will be rewarded by God in the Hereafter. 

Ill-intention, on the other hand, is a negative spur to worldly attainment. 
Ostensibly religious acts, if performed for worldly gain or public 
commendation, are in this sense ill-intentioned. Any fame, honour or 
popularity, which ensues from an ill intentioned act is a hollow triumph 
and is looked upon by the Almighty with extreme disfavour. 

Intention is rooted in man's inner thinking and feelings. A common man 
is unable to penetrate the inner recesses of a person's mind, but God knows 
full well what a man's thought processes and feelings are. People can be 
deluded by appearances, but God has complete knowledge of everything. 
He will deal with people according to His knowledge and will reward 
everyone exactly as he or she deserves. 

Intention has to do with the inner reality. A thing which loses its reality 
or its meaningfulness is valueless. Similarly, an act which is performed with 
ill intention or with no good intention, has no value — neither in the eyes of 
man, nor of God. 

Things are of value only when they are pure, without any adulteration. 
An act done with right intention is a pure act, and an act performed without 
right intention is an impure act. 

(g) Purity and Cleanliness 

According to the Quran: 'Allah 
loves those who turn to him in 
repentance and purify themselves.' 

( 2 : 222 ). 

According to a Hadith, 'purity is 
half of faith.' Similarly, the Prophet of 
Islam once observed: 'God is pure and 
loves purity." (Ton Majah) 

Man is a creature who has been 
specially granted the quality of 
sensitivity. That is why man naturally 
likes cleanliness, and since Islam is a 
religion of nature, it lays great stress on 
cleanliness. Man's body, his clothing 
and his home, should all be pictures of 

It was due to the importance given to cleanliness that the companions 
of the Prophet used to bathe daily. According to Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik, 
Abdullah ibn Umar spoke of how his father used to take a bath before each 
prayer. In this way he used to bathe five times a day. The third caliph, Hazrat 
Usman ibn Affan, used to bathe daily. (Musnad Ahmad) 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 35 

The cleanliness of body and soul is one of the basic demands of Islam. 
Islam, as we learn from the Quran and Hadith, is a religion of nature. Islam 
and nature are indeed each other's counterparts. Nature loves cleanliness 
and abhors pollution: that is why this highly desirable feature of human 
existence — cleanliness — is one of the basic tenets of the Islamic faith. 

What is the nature of that faith? It is to lead a life in total consonance 
with the will of God, and such a life can have its beginnings only in a 
condition of exemplary personal hygiene. According to a Hadith, the keeping 
of oneself clean is one half of faith; this indicates the amount of emphasis 
laid upon hygiene in Islamic practice. The concept of cleanliness is thus an 
important ingredient of the very essence of Islam. 

This is clearly in evidence at the appointed times of worship. The most 
sublime form of worship is salat (namaz), which is performed five times a 
day. Each time the hour of prayer arrives, the first thing a good Muslim 
must do is perform his ablutions. Ablution (wudu) entails the washing of all 
the exposed parts of the body. As a cleansing process, wudu is an equivalent 
of a semi-bath. In this way, die devout Muslim takes a semi-bath five times 

In the first phase of Islam, it was common practice for Muslims to take a 
bath daily before the Fajr (dawn) prayers. Bathing thus became a regular 
daily feature of every Muslim's life. The servant of Uthman, the third caliph, 
tells of how the caliph used unfailingly to take a bath once or twice daily. If 
Muslims have always attached great importance to cleanliness, it is because 
of the explicit commands on this subject in the Quran. When the Quran 
began to be revealed, one of its signal injunctions was: 

"Cleanse your garments and keep away from all pollution." (74:4). 

The cleanliness of clothes is a necessary concomitant of the purity of the 
body. Without that, the body is not one hundred per cent clean. Indeed, as 
much stress is laid on cleanliness as on the avoidance of wearing showy 
apparel. In Islam,ideally, the devotee is required, to worship in clothes which 
are simple, and above all, clean. 

In the realm cf spiritual development, one of the principal elements is 
purification through penitence. As the Quran says; "God loves those who 
turn to Him in repentance and purify themselves." (2:222) Just as repentance 
frees the body and soul of worldly moral dross, so does water remove 
impurities from body and clothing. Accordingly, Islam exhorts every 
Muslim, on the one hand, to keep his clothes and body clean with water, 
and, on the other, to turn in remembrance to God, thus purifying the soul. 
That is why at the moment of washing himself clean, he utters these words 
in prayer: "Oh God, purify my inner self along with my outer body. In this 
way, the earnest prayer makes his soul clean too, like his body. 

36 Goodword Islamic Studies 


(i) The concept of human values 

1. What do we call human values? 

2. Why should we respect basic human values? 

3. Why are the basic human values similar in all the religions? 

4. Which values are emphasized in Islam? 

(ii) The significance of the fundamentals of Islam in inculcating values. 

1. What are the two fundamental principles on which all the teachings 
of Islam are based? 

2. Why should we be merciful to others? 

3. Why is service to other human beings as important as worship? 

4. How is Islam a religion of humanity? 

5. Why should we share things with others? 

(iii) The upholding of the rules of human behaviour. 

1. What is meant by the virtue of faithfulness? 

2. Why should we practice honesty? 

3. What is meant by obedience in Islam? 

4. Why is it important to be obedient to God and those in authority? 

5. Why is forgiveness important for the proper functioning of human 

6. What is the concept of mercy in Islam? 

7. Why does God always refer to Himself as Merciful and 

8. Why should we always speak the truth? 

9. Why does Islam attach importance to purity and cleanliness? 

10. Why does God judge intentions as more important than actions? 

11. Why should every deed be preceded by a good intention? 

12. What is meant by the statement: 'Man's life on earth is a trial'? 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 







*e M ’. 



Human Rights 
in Islam 



"O people! Behold , we have created you from a male and a female; and 
we have made you into tribes and sub-tribes, so that you may recognise 
one another. The most honourable among you, in the sight of God, is he 
who is the most righteous among you. God is All-Knowing, and wise." 


Rights in Islam are divided into two categories. One concerns divine 
rights ( Huququllah ) and the other, human rights (Huququl Jbad). Though divine 
rights are superior to human rights, this difference is a matter of belief or 
doctrine and not a matter of action or practice. 

In the practical sense, both the rights divine and human, are so 
interrelated that sometimes it becomes impossible to separate one from the 

In fact, it is the observance of divine rights that paves the way for the 
observance of human rights in the true sense of the word. For instance, the 
first and foremost divine right is Tawhid, that is, to declare the oneness of 
God, without associating anything with Him. As the Quran says: 

Say, "He is God, the One. 

He is self-sufficient 

He begets not, nor was He begotten." (112:1-3) 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 39 

This belief in Tawhid helps man realise the fact that there is nothing 
superior to or greater than God. All creatures, including human beings, 
irrespective of their external differences, are equal in dignity as well as in 
responsibility before the one and only God. Anyone who abuses or humiliates 
or ridicules others indirectly abuses the Creator. Such commandments 
abound in the Quran and Hadith as show that divine rights and human 
rights are so interdependent that they become complementary to one another. 

It is as if God will not accept our obeisance to Him if we do not honour 
the human rights prescribed in the Quran and Hadith. 

For instance, die Prophet is reported to have said: 

"By God, he is not a believer, by God, he is not a believer, by God, he is 
not a believer." When asked by the companions, 'Who is he?', The 
Prophet replied, "He whose neighbour is not safe from his mischievous 
deeds." (Abu Dawud) 

The differences between human beings seen as justifications for 
discrimination resulting in the violation of basic human rights are considered 
in the Quran as signs of God: 

"And among His signs are the creation of the heavens and the earth, 
and the diversity of your tongues and colours. In that surely there are 
signs for those who possess knowledge." (30:22) 

All the differences of race, community or tribe (49:13) are just for mutual 
introduction (ra'arruf) and not for discrimination. The differences of race, 
community or tribe are not meant to lead to discrimination against one 
another. They exist rather for the purpose of knowing and appreciating one 

It is astonishing to note that the Quran had declared fifteen hundred 
years ago the biological unity of human beings, a fact which was scientifically 
established only during the sixties of the 20th century. 

The fifth chapter of the Quran begins with this declaration: 

'O mankind, be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created you out of 
a single living soul and out of it created its mate. And out of the two 
spread on the earth a multitude of men and women...' (4:1) 

It was the realisation of this biological unity of the whole of mankind 
that made the Prophet say in his night prayers: 

"O God, I bear witness that all human beings are brothers." (Nasai) 

In illustration of this fact, it was recorded that one day the Prophet saw 
a funeral procession passing through a street in Madinah. He stood up 
in deference. When he was told by his companions that the deceased 
person was a Jew, not a Muslim, the Prophet said: 'Was he not a human 
being?' fSahih al-Bukhari) 

40 I Goodword Islamic Studies 

Human life in Islam is held in such high esteem that the killing of a 
single human being is considered equivalent to the slaughter of the whole 
of mankind. And the protection of a single human life is equivalent to the 
protection of the whole of mankind. It is so stated in the Quran with reference 
to the murder of Abel by his elder brother Cain, this being the first violation 
of human rights in human history. (5:27-32) 

Justice and equality before the Law: 

According to the Quran and Hadith, the establishment of justice is one 
of the most essential goals in the sending of the prophets to mankind and in 
revealing the divine scriptures (57:25). The just are loved by God (60:8) while 
the unjust will face the fire of Hell (72:15). 

The Prophet once observed: 

" God does not bless a community in which the weak cannot take from 
the strong what is rightfully theirs without fear of reprisal." (Sunan, 

Ibn Majah) 

Deviation from the path of justice 
is not allowed, even when it concerns 
one's opponent or enemy (5:8). The 
ruler and the ruled, the rich and the 
poor, black and white, should be 
treated equally before the law, without 
any discrimination or distinction on the 
basis of race, colour, sex, language, 
religion, political affiliation, birth or 
other status. The following two 
incidents illustrate how strictly this 
ideal was religiously maintained in the 
early phase of Islam in accordance with Islamic doctrines and 

One of the major problems facing mankind today is racism. The 
developed world can send a man to the moon but cannot stop men from 
hating and fighting their fellow men. Ever since the days of the Prophet 
Muhammad, Islam has provided a vivid example of how racism can be 

The life, property and honour of all citizens in an Islamic state are 
considered sacred, whether a person is Muslim or not. So, in Islam, insulting 
others or ridiculing them is not allowed. The Prophet Muhammad said: 
'Truly, your blood, your property, and your honour are inviolable.' 

Racism is not allowed in Islam, for the Quran speaks of human equality 
in the following terms: 

Goodzvord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


'O mankind , We have created you from a male and a female and have 
made you into nations and tribes for you to know one another. Truly , 
the noblest of you in God's sight is the most pious. Truly , God is All- 
Knowing, All-Aware. (49:13) 

The annual pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah shows the real Islamic 
brotherhood of all races and nations, when about two million Muslims from 
all over the world come to Makkah to perform the pilgrimage. 

God created human beings as equals who are to be distinguished from 
each other solely on the basis of their faith and piety. 

(a) The Right to Life 

The first and foremost basic right is the right to life. The Quran says: 

'We decreed for the children of Israel that whoever killed a human being 
, except as a punishment for murder or for spreading corruption in the 
earth, would be as if he killed all mankind; and whosoever saved the life 
of one, it is as if he had saved the life of all mankind.’ (5:35) 

Life is sacred and regarded in Islam as a divine 
gift, which we are meant to preserve and utilize 
fully. Life should never be ended without 
justification, and Islam does not allow a 
believer to attempt to commit suicide or 
expose himself or herself foolishly 
to unnecessary danger. Life is 
not a human being's personal 
property, to be disposed of as 
an individual might wish, but a 
precious gift from God. The Muslim 

therefore has the duty to protect all forms of life and treat them with respect. 
No person, no matter how great or powerful, has the right to usurp another s 
right to life. 

The propriety of taking life in retaliation for murder or for spreading 
corruption can be decided only by a competent court of law. During a war it 
can be decided only by a properly established government. Besides, killing 
on the battlefield can be condoned only under certain conditions, the chief 
of which would be is that the war is defensive. 

Killing as legal execution is also condoned only under certain stringent 

42 Goodword Islamic Studies 

conditions. In any event, no individual has the right to decide such questions 
by himself. It is clearly stated: 

'Do not kill a soul which God has made sacred, except through the 
due process of law.' (6:151) 

Homicide, or the killing of a man is thus distinguished from an execution 
carried out in the pursuit of justice. The Prophet has declared homicide as 
the greatest sin after polytheism. A tradition of the Prophet reads: 'The 
greatest sins are to associate some partner with God and to kill human beings.' 

Thus, not once, but many times the Quran establishes the sacredness of 
life. This applies to the whole of humankind and is not restricted only to 
Muslims. The unjustifiable killing of human beings is clearly forbidden by 

'You shall not kill any man whom God has forbidden (you to kill) except 
for a just cause.' (17:32) 

It is, therefore, more than obvious that human beings, whether believers 
or non-believers, have a right to live and no one is allowed to take the life of 
a man without a legally acceptable reason. 

(b) The Right to Property 

God is the Creator and Sustainer of whole universe. Everything belongs 
to God and He is the only real possessor of everything. The Quran says: 

''To God belongs the kingdom of Heaven and Earth." 

Yes, unto Allah belong 
All things in the heavens 
And on earth, and enough 
Is Allah to carry through 
All affairs. (4:132) 

Thus the ultimate owner of all 
things is God while man has been 
placed on this earth solely for the 
purpose of trial and testing. Man is 
certainly given the right to possess 
things but this is subject to a regular 
code of conduct in Islam: God is the 
absolute owner of all things and man 
has to earn his living as His obedient 
servant. There are certain rules and 
regulations that man has to follow 

Goodivord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


while utilizing the resources that he possesses as a " trust 7 from God. 

"O you people, eat of what is on earth lawful from God. And do not 
folloiu the steps of the evil one." (2:168) 

"After one dies there is share for man and also for woman: be that small 
or large, the share is there." (4:7) 

The individual acquires the right to private ownership on the basis of 
his efforts. 

'That man can have nothing but what he strives for' 

The other deserving members of the community have a right to share 
with him. 

The worldly things that a man possesses or acquires are Allah's blessings. 
Therefore, less fortunate people also have a share in his wealth. Wealth 
may be accumulated but without violating the Islamic norms of welfare. 

Islam along with the security of life, confers the security of property 
ownership upon each and every human being. This right is only with respect 
to property which has been acquired by lawful means. The Quran says: 

"And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities." 

The Prophet in his address on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj said: 

"Your lives and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet 
your Lord on the Day of Judgement." 

(c) The Right to Self-Respect 

Honour is the most precious thing a person 

During his Farewell Pilgrimage, the 
Prophet told his followers: 

'Your lives, your honour, and your property 
are as sacred to each other as the sacredness of 
this day, in this your month, and in this your 
city.' (Muslim) 

The honour of a man involves the 
protection of those in his care. No Muslim man 
should oppress the women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded, 
or indeed, any human beings who are in his care or under his protection. 

Abu Hurayrah recorded: 'Everything of a Muslim is sacred to a Muslim; 
his property, honour and blood. It is enough evil for any person to despise 

44 Goodword Islamic Studies 

his (or her) fellow Muslim/ (Abu Dawud) 

'If anyone defends his brother's honour in this world, Allah will shield 
his face from the fire on the Day of Resurrection.' (Tirmidhi) 

The honour and chastity of all women are to be respected. Muslims 
believe that every child should be born wanted, within the security of a 

No man has the right to harass or abuse a woman. However, Muslim 
men are not responsible or accountable for the failings of those in their care. 
It is a fundamental teaching of Islam that each individual is judged on his or 
her account alone, and not for the sins of others (6: 164). Therefore, although 
the feeling of purging a family's stained honour is very strong in many Islamic 
societies, it does not give any individual the right to punish any other 

In practice, this means that no father, uncle or brother (or anyone else) 
has the right to execute a family member who has sinned and no Muslim 
father has the right to force a daughter to marry a man she does not want to, 
or does not feel she could form a successful relationship with. 

(d) The Right to Freedom of Speech and Thought 

The revolution set in motion by Islam on the basis of monotheism brought 
into existence for the first time in human history a truly egalitarian social 
structure. It paved the way for a society in which everyone enjoyed freedom 
of speech with no constraints whatsoever. 

Not only did Islam advocate freedom of thought and speech with 
unmistakable earnestness, but it also brought about social changes that 
emboldened the people to break with ancient practices, thus enabling them 
to openly express their differences with and criticism of their chiefs and 

Though the Prophet Muhammad had acquired the status of a ruler in 
Arabia, he still lived like any other ordinary man, and everyone was free to 
express himself in his presence. One such instance occurred on the occasion 
of the Badr expedition. During the journey, the Prophet decided to encamp 
at a particular place. At that point a young man by the name of Khabbab ibn 
al-Mundhir approached him and asked: "Have you chosen to halt here 
because you were guided by divine revelation, or is this choice of halting 
place purely a matter of your own private opinion?" The Prophet replied, 
"I have chosen this place myself." At this, Khabbab ibn al-Mundhir said, 
"This is no place to halt. Move from here with all your companions." The 
Prophet, far from rebuking the man for this audacity, simply asked him 
why he thought they should camp elsewhere. When he had heard his reasons, 
he immediately agreed with him, and he and his companions then set off to 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


find another halting place. The fact that neither the Prophet nor his 
companions took exception to Khabbab ibn al-Mundhir's behaviour is a 
clear illustration of the degree to which egalitarianism was encouraged by 

This revolution, imbued as it was with the spirit of Islamic monotheism, 
was so powerful that its effects continued to be felt throughout Islamic 
history. After the Prophet, during the period of the pious caliphs, anyone, 
irrespective of his social status, could freely criticize the caliphs. The history 
of this period abounds in such instances. 

This Islamic revolution had such far-reaching effects that, even in the 
later period of Islam, when a form of monarchy had replaced the Caliphate, 
and throughout the entire fourteen-hundred -year span of Islamic history, 
there was never again a ruler who succeeded in placing curbs on the right to 

Some Instances of Religious Tolerance 

The Islamic revolution brought about by the Prophet and his companions 
did not remain simply a matter of religion for the followers of Islam. It 
established powerful states far beyond the boundaries of Arabia — a process 
which continued for a thousand years and affected the whole inhabited world 
of that time. But never once, throughout that period, was there any attempt 
to impose censorship on human thinking. In all these new Islamic states, the 
people enjoyed total freedom of thought. Here we shall quote some instances 
to this effect from Professor Arnold's book, titled. The Preaching of Islam. First, 
there is an excerpt from a full statement made by one of the Spanish Muslims 
who had been driven out of his native country. Protesting against the 
persecution of the Inquisition, he stresses, in contrast, the toleration of his 
co-religionists: "... Our arms, it is true, are ever open to receive all who are 
disposed to embrace our religion, but we are not allowed by our sacred 
Quran to tyrannise over consciences..." 

Giving many further instances of the freedom of thought and expression 
during the Muslim period, Arnold has written that those Roman provinces 
which were rapidly conquered by Muslims suddenly found themselves in 
such an atmosphere of tolerance as had been unknown to them for centuries. 
Such tolerance was quite striking in the history of the seventh century. 

Under Islam there is freedom for every thought as well as respect for 
every thinking man, irrespective of the fact that his thinking may be different 
from ours. Islam not only grants freedom of thought, but also respects the 
upholders of all schools of thought. 

46 Goodword Islamic Studies 

The Modern Age and Islam 

Freedom of thought is held to be the summum bonum in the modem age, 
and is generally thought to be the result of the western scientific revolution. 
It is true that this is its immediate cause, but the scientific revolution itself 
was the result of the Islamic revolution based upon monotheism. 

The revolution to bring freedom and democracy to the people, which 
began in Europe, later spreading to the rest of the world in modern times, is 
but the second stage of that revolutionary process which was set in motion 
in the seventh century by Islam. 

(e) The Right of Asylum 

'The right to asylum' in modern usage 
means the right of one state to receive, shelter, 
and protect those accused of offenses in 

In modern times the right to asylum is 
considered to be a part of what we collectively 
call 'human rights'. If anyone is being 
oppressed in his own country or fears 
oppression, then to grant him protection, so 
that he may lead a life of peace and security 
is regarded as a moral duty of the other 
country where he seeks asylum. 

The right to asylum has been accepted in the Islamic system too. We 
find a clear injuction in this regard in the Quran: 'If one amongst the non- 
Muslims asks you for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word 
of God, and then escort him (when he wants) to where he can be secure.' 

All the teachings of Islam are based on the principle of morality or ethics. 
Without doubt it is one of the high principles of morality that, when an 
oppressed person seeks refuge, it becomes our duty to grant him shelter. 

This is the theoretical teaching of Islam. But to support this theory, we 
find a number of practical examples in the history of Islam. 

During the final days of the Prophet's life in Makkah, when his uncle 
and guardian Abu Talib had died, people began to persecute him. Therefore, 
the Prophet undertook a journey to Taif. On reaching the town, the Prophet 
requested Abd Yalil, the chief of his tribe, to grant him protection, that is 
asylum, as it is known today. But Abd Yalil refused to do so, with the result 
that the Prophet had to leave Taif. 

Another example is that of the emigration to Abyssinia. During the early 
days of Islam, the Makkans targeted the Prophet's followers, who were small 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 47 

in number, for persecution. At that time some of them emigrated, with the 
permission of the Prophet, to a neighbouring country - Abyssinia. The king 
of Abyssinia was a just king, so they stayed in his country for several months. 
This was a clear case of finding asylum. 

The Quran has commanded us to adopt a high standard of ethics, 
(sublime character) (68:5). The Prophet of Islam enjoined everyone to help 
the oppressed, this being an act meriting a great reward from God. Fulfilling 
the need of an oppressed person is in itself deserving of divine succour. 
And granting asylum without doubt falls into this category. Therefore, it 
will be no exaggeration to say that asylum is an important part of the Islamic 

According to Islam, granting asylum is not just the duty of the state is 
also the duty of the individual. Anyone who enjoys a position whereby he 
can grant asylum to the oppressed, is expected to rescue a person in distress. 
In the Makkan period those who were economically strong extended 
protection to a number of slaves who were being persecuted on account of 
their faith. This kind of protection was called ' mana'a! in Arabia. This is also 
a form of asylum 

The verse of the Quran mentioned above shows that asylum serves a 
double purpose in the Islamic scheme of things. On the one hand, it is meant 
to provide a secure life to the oppressed and, on the other hand, the protected 
person is given an opportunity to hear the word of God. The message of the 
divine call should be communicated to him. In this way, the granting of 
asylum is not just the offer of a safe haven: it is a highly moral act with the 
very positive status of a divine mission. 

(f) The Right to Privacy and Personal Freedom 

To any Muslim, the home is a 
private refuge. No person should enter 
another's home, or spy on it, without 
the consent of the occupant. It should 
be a safe haven for all who live in it. 

'O believers! Do not enter houses 
other than your own until you have 
received permission , and greeted 
those within; this is the best form of 
politeness. If you find no one in the 
house, do not enter it without 
permission; and then, if you are asked 
to go away, go away.' (24:27-28) 

48 Goodword Islamic Studies 

The conventions of propriety and privacy are essential to Muslim life. 
No person has the right to 'catch another out 7 by surprise, or enter his home 
against his wishes. It is sometimes the case that when a visitor knocks, there 
is no answer because the people within do not wish at that time to be 
disturbed. The fact that the visitor did not receive a reply to his knock does 
pot give him the right to poke his head in, or go inside. The polite thing to 
do is to knock a few times, and if no reply is given, to withdraw for the time 
being. A Muslim should be discreet. He is not expected to go into someone's 
house unasked. 

Abu Sa'id Khudri recorded this piece of advice: 'Permission should be 
sought three times, and if permission is granted to you then go in, otherwise 
go away.' (Muslim) 

i The atmosphere of the home should be private and loving, and should 
reflect the compassion and generosity of Allah. It should be a place in which 
every child or old person feels secure. 

It should be place of welcome, able to give refuge and protection, 
consolation, and encouragement. If a stranger or any visitor comes, he should 
feel welcomed. 

Muslims believe that no one accused of a crime should ever be sentenced 
to imprisonment unless he is proved guilty in an open and unbiased court. 
No one should be deprived of liberty on the basis of suspicion only, or not 
be given a reasonable opportunity to provide a defence. No individual 
should ever be arrested or imprisoned for the offences of others. 

'No bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burden of another. 


Abu Malik reported: 'A ruler who, having gained control over the 
Muslims, does not strive for their betterment and who does not serve them 
sincerely, shall not enter Paradise with them/ (Muslim) 

People should not be kept locked away or in waiting before they come 
to trial. Kidnapping or hijacking people, not allowing condemned people 
the right to appeal properly, and torturing or abusing prisoners are not 
allowed in Islam. 

Personal animosity should never interfere with proper justice: 

'O believers , be dutiful to Allah and bearers of just witness. Do not 
allow your hatred for other men to turn you away from Justice. Deal 
justly; justice is nearer to true piety. Have fear of Allah; He is well 
acquainted with all that you do.' (5:9). 

Goodivord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


(g) The Right to Seek Knowledge 

"My Lord! Increase me in 
Knowledge." (20:114) 

The mission of the Prophet 
of Islam has been introduced in 
the Quran at more than one 
place as an Instructor of the 
Book and giver of wisdom. Here is a verse from the Quran: 

"He it is who has raised among the unlettered people a Messenger from 
among themselves who recites to them His signs and purifies them, and 
to instruct them in the Book and wisdom. ” (62:2) 

Similarly, on another occasion the Prophet of Islam presented himself 
before the people saying, " I have been sent only as a teacher." 

Then the first word of the Quran to be revealed was 'Iqra' (96:1). The 
fourth verse of the first revelation, forming part of the chapter Al-Qalam , has 
this to say: 

" God has taught man by the pen." (96:4) 

We find more than 1500 derivatives and synonyms of the word llm, that 
is, knowledge. It becomes easy to understand in the light of this how the 
revelation of the Quran in this almost illiterate nation of Arabia set off such 
a wave of receiving and imparting education as can rightly be called a learning 

The revolution brought about by this learning explosion ushered in a 
new age of highly developed culture and civilization, not only in Arabia 
but all over the world. This is a fact that has been acknowledged by historians. 
For instance, the Indian historian, T. Rama Rao begins his biography of the 
Prophet of Islam with these words: 

'When he appeared, Arabia was a desert— a nothing. Out of nothing of 
the desert a new world was fashioned by the mighty spirit of Muhammad. 

A new life, a new culture, a new civilization, a new kingdom, which 
extended from Morocco to India and influenced the thought and life of 
three continents— Asia, Africa and Europe.' (Life of Muhammad). 

(h) The Rights of Relations 

The Muslim family is not just a small, nuclear family consisting of a 
husband, a wife and their children, but is extended to include relatives as 
well. Therefore, as a Muslim, one has maintain a close and caring relationship 

50 Goodzuord Islamic Studies 

with relatives. According to a saying of the Prophet, one is required to visit 
relatives, enquire about their circumstances in life, spend on them, invite 
them to one's homes and if poor, give sadaqa to them. 

There is a hadith which tells us about the noble behaviour of Abu Talhah, 
one of the wealthiest men in Madinah. He had many orchards and numerous 
groves of date palms. His favourite possession was an orchard called Bayr 
Haa. It was near the Prophet's mosque and the Prophet often went to this 
orchard to drink cool water and refresh himself. Anas, a companion of the 
Prophet, said that, when the following verse of the Quran was revealed: 
'You will not attain to righteousness until you spend in charity out of what 
you love' (3:92), Abu Talhah came to the Prophet and addressing him as 
Messenger of God, recited the above revelation to him. Then he said, "In 
fact the most beloved of my possessions is Bayr Haa. It is now a sadaqah for 
the sake of God Almighty. I desire the righteousness that would come from 
giving it. . . do with it, Messenger of God, whatever God shows you.' "What 
a lovely piece of property that is! How fruitful and profitable it is! I heave 
heard what you said. I think that you should give it to your relatives," said 
the noble Prophet. 'I shall do so. Messenger of God', replied Abu Talhah, 
and he divided it up among his his cousins and other relatives. 

From the above one can see that the institution of the family is maintained 
by feelings of love and tenderness and by practical measures of mutual 
assistance and support. 

Thus we are commanded to do good and show kindness and liberality 
to our kinsfolk. In the Quran this command comes immediately after the 
command to do good to our parents: 'Show kindness to your parents, to 
your kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to the destitute' (2:83) and 'Show kindness 
to your parents and your kindred, to the orphans and to the needy, to your 
near and distant neighbours, to your fellow-travellers, to wayfarers, and to 
the slaves whom you own.' (4:36). Our parents and our relatives have a 
prior claim on us: "They will ask you about alms-giving. Say: 'Whatever 
you bestow in charity must go to your parents and to your kinsfolk, to the 
orphan and to the poor man and to the wayfarer. Allah is aware of whatever 
good you do." (2:215) 

The next of kin are to be remembered at the time of making a bequest: 
'It is decreed that when death approaches, those of you that leave wealth 
shall bequeath it equitably to parents and kindred. This is a duty incumbent 
on the righteous.' (2:180). Relatives have a share in the property left by the 
deceased: 'To everyone We have appointed heirs who will inherit part of 
what parents and kinsmen leave.' (4:33) Besides including them in bequests 
and wills, one should never break the ties of kinship: 'If you (Muhammad) 
turn away (from the faith) you would surely do evil in the land and violate 
the ties of kinship. Such are those on whom Allah has laid His curse, leaving 

Goodivord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


them bereft of sight and hearing/ (47:22) At the same time, we are expected 
to stand firmly for justice and give true evidence, even if against relatives. 
'Believers, conduct yourselves with justice and bear true witness to Allah, 
even though it be against yourselves, your parents, or your kinsfolk/ (4:135) 
Nor should one do injustice to others for the sake of one's relatives 'Speak 
for justice, even if it affects your own kinsmen.' (6:152). 

There are a number of authentic sayings of the Holy Prophet about 
relatives and kindred. According to one of these, the giving of alms to kindred 
carries two rewards. Another saying is: 'He is not a perfect practitioner of 
closeness (to God) who does to his relatives as they do to him; but he is 
perfect who does good to them when they do not do him good'. 

The teachings of Islam always stress the importance of society and the 
family in the life of the individual, and that is why so many of the verses of 
the Quran as well as the traditions of the Prophet give very clear guidelines 
for the treatment of the different members of the extended family. 

(i) The Rights of Children in Islam 

Children are important and 
cherished members of any 
Muslim family and the family is 
a very important social institution 
in Islam. This is attested to by 
many verses of the Quran and also 
numerous traditions of the 
Prophet, which deal with the 
duties of parents towards 
children and the rights of children 
over their parents, siblings, 
relatives and guardians. 

Parents have the obligation to cherish and sustain their children, educate 
them and train them. These duties begin even before the child is born. The 
Prophet advised that the married couple should pray for their offspring to 
be saalih (righteous). Once the child is born, its mother has to take great care 
of it and see to its every comfort, especially when it is very small and 
helpless, while the father is expected to provide for its material needs. 

All children have the right to parental care and in case they are orphans, 
their legal guardians should provide this. As the Prophet Muhammad 
himself was an orphan, he gave a great deal of advice on how orphans should 
be treated in Islam. Many of the verses of the Quran deal specifically with 
the rights of orphans. Those who do not look after the orphans in their care 
as directed by the Quran and the traditions, and especially those who usurp 
orphans' property are condemned in direct and unequivocal terms. 

52 I Goodword Islamic Studies 

The child has a very vast range of rights, which are mainly the 
responsibility of its parents. Some of these primary responsibilities, above 
and beyond satisfying the very basic needs of food and shelter, deal with 
the whole process of upbringing called in Arabic 'tarbiyah'. This includes, 
besides teaching the child proper manners, formal education. Both the 
parents are responsible for it. The very crucial role of both parents in the 
formative education and development of a child is stressed in the famous 
saying of the Prophet: 'Every child is born in a natural state of goodness. It 
is his parents who make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian/ 

A tradition says: 'A man once came to 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second 
Khalifah of Islam, complaining of his son's disobedience. 'Umar summoned 
the boy and spoke of his disobedience to his father and his neglect of his 
duty to him. The boy replied: "O Amir al-Mu'minin! Hasn't a child rights 
over his father?" "Certainly", replied Umar. "What are they, Amir al- 
Mu'minin?' "That he should choose his mother, give him a good name, teach 
him the Book (the Quran)." "Amir al-Muminin! My father did nothing like 
this. My mother was a fire-worshipper. He gave me the name of Ju'alaan 
(meaning a dung beetle) and he did not teach me a single letter of the Quran." 
Turning to the father, 'Umar said: 'You have come to me to complain about 
the disobedience of your son. You have failed in your duty to him before he 
has failed in his duty to you; you have done wrong to him before he has 
wronged you.'" 

Another hadith says: 'No father has ever given his child anything better 
than good manners.' 

These particular traditions not only sum up the rights of the child over 
the parents but also stress the logical reason for such rights: it is the duty of 
the parents to bring up the child as a believer and no child can be blamed, if 
in his childhood his parents did not take care to see to his Islamic upbringing. 
How important a role in upbringing is played by love and tender care is 
illustrated best by the following tradition describing the love lavished by 
the Prophet on his little grandsons, Hasan and Husayn. 

'A man named Al-Aqra ibn Habis visited the Prophet and was surprised 
to see him kiss his grandsons, Hasan and Husayn. "Do you kiss your 
children?' he asked, adding that he had ten children and never kissed one of 
them. "That shows you have no mercy and tenderness at all. Those who do 
not show mercy to others will not have God's mercy shown to them," 
commented the noble Prophet.' 

Yet another tradition says: 'He who is not affectionate to God's creatures 
and to his own children, will not find God affectionate to him.' 

The killing of children, prevalent in the period before Islam, is totally 
forbidden. 'Kill not your children on a plea of want; We provide sustenance 
for you and for them/ (6:151) We are told that there is no difference between 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


having a daughter or a son for God 'bestows (children) male and female, 
according to His will/ (42:49). Therefore one should not discriminate between 
one's children, treating them all equally. Children also have a right of to 
inherit the property of their parents and other relatives, in proportions 
prescribed by the Quran and the traditions and developed further by fiqh, 
usually sons having a share double that of daughters. No child, even if a 
minor, can be deprived of his inheritance, which is managed by a guardian 
till the time the child attains maturity. 

Islam thus deals with the rights of children in every field of life, starting 
with their right to live, their right to be brought up well, their right to parental 
love and tenderness, and their right to own property and inherit property 
from their parents. 

(j) The Right to Belief 

Religious freedom is the basic human right whose violation has caused 
conflicts, wars and bloodshed in both ancient and modem societies. The 
Quran, therefore, declared for the first time in human history, that 'there 
shall be no coercion in matters of religion/ (2:256). In view of this prohibition 
of coercion (ikrah), all Islamic jurists (fuqaha) without any exception, hold 
that forcible conversion, whatever the circumstances, null and void. 'Any 
attempt to coerce a non-believer to accept Islam is a grievous sin/ (Ahkam al- 
Quran, al-Jassas). According to this principle of 'non-coercion', it is not 
permissible to exploit or manipulate personal weaknesses or calamities (e.g. 
poverty, sickness, famine, etc.) for religious conversion. That is why old 
and downtrodden non-Muslims were exempted from taxes and given all 
monetary support by the Islamic state, without ever being asked to embrace 
Islam just for the advantages it would give them. 

Once a Jewish widow came to the Caliph Umar asking for some financial 
aid. Umar tried to persuade her to accept Islam. He promised to take care of 
all her needs if she embraced Islam. But the lady refused. Umar then gave 
her more than she had asked for. When she departed, Umar raised his hands 
towards heaven and said: 

"O God , bear witness that I have not exercised any coercion on this 
lady." (Tarikh Umar ibn Khattab, Ibn al-Jawzi) 

(k) Freedom of Expression and Dissent 

The principle of non-coercion has not been confined to religious freedom 
alone. Rather, it has been extensively elaborated upon and widely applied 
to all social, cultural, and political spheres of society. This has led to the 
development of a new culture in which individuals enjoy freedom of 

54 Goodword Islamic Studies 

expression, dissent and criticism 
without any fear of restriction. Two 
examples will suffice to explain to what 
extent this essential human right was 
observed in earlier Muslim societies. 

Once the Caliph Umar came to a 
well of the Banu Harithah where he met 
an outspoken person named 
Muhammad ibn Maslama. "How do 
you find me?" he asked Muhammad, 

"By God, I find you just as I would like 
you to be and just as it would please any well-wisher to see you. You are 
good at accumulating money, I see, but you keep your hands clean of it 
yourself, distributing it equitably to others." "But," went on Muhammad 
ibn Maslama, "If you adopt a crooked course, we will straighten you out, 
just as we straighten swords by placing them in a vice." At these aggressively 
critical words, Umar, the second Muslim Caliph, exclaimed: 

" Praise be to God , who has put me among people who will straighten 
me out when I become crooked ." (Kanz al-Ummal) 

When Muslims at Madinah, with their increasing affluence, began to 
settle huge dowers (mahr) on their daughters, Umar, in his capacity as caliph, 
ordered that no one should demand or pay a dower that exceeded four 
hundred dirhams, and that anything in excess of this amount would be 
confiscated and deposited in the public treasury (Baitul-Mal). 

After the proclamation of this ordinance, when he came down from the 
pulpit, a tall, flat-nosed old woman stood up and, speaking with confidence, 

The Quran has set no restrictions on this matter: Umar has no right to 
set an upper limit to the dowers. " 

To back up her contention, she loudly recited this verse of the Quran: 

"If you decide to take one wife in place of another, do not take back from 
her the dower you have given her, even if it be a talent of gold.' (4:20). 

Umar's immediate reaction on hearing this was to say: 

"A woman has argued with Umar and has bested him." 

According to another account, Umar said: 

"May God, forgive me, everyone knows better than Umar., even this 
old lady." (Tirmidhi/Ahmad) 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 



(i) The importance of human rights in Islam 

1. What are the human rights and what are the divine rights called? 

2. How is the concept of ' tawhid' related to the concept of human rights 
in Islam? 

3. Name some of the human rights. 

4. Are all human beings equal in the eyes of the law? 

5. Why should we never leave the path of justice? 

(ii) Some human rights 

1. What does the right to life mean? 

2. What does the right to property imply? 

3. Why does one have a right to protect one's honour? 

4. What is the meaning of each human being having a right to freedom 
of speech and thought? 

5. Why can it be said that the right to religious belief is bound up with 

6. What does the right to asylum mean? 

7. How are all human beings entitled to privacy? 

8. What is the meaning of one having the right to seek knowledge? 

9. What are the rights relatives have over a Muslim? 

10. What are the rights of children in Islam? 

11. How does respect for human rights lead to peace? 

56 Goodword Islamic Studies 


The Status of 


The period before the revelation of the Quran is usually called the 
'jahilyiah' period, or the 'period of ignorance', as people led their lives without 
the revealed guidance of Allah. Society, nomadic and patriarchal, consisted 
of many tribes each with a sheikh as the head. All the importance was given 
to men and women were treated merely as commodities or property to be 
disposed of at the whims of men. 

Women were married or divorced at the will of the menfolk, without 
there being any restriction on the number of wives a man could have. It was 
not unusual for a son to marry the widows of his dead father. Women were 
not valued at all and female infanticide was also practiced. Little girls were 
buried in the sands of the desert and left to die. 

Women had no legal right to the property of their fathers and husbands. 
There were some exceptional and enterprising women like Khadija, but 
society in general was completely male-dominated. 

The Quran and the traditions of the Prophet offer the best description of 
the women's status and the instructions and guidelines to reform society 
through the revealed guidance. Quranic law banned infanticide and strictly 
put a full stop to men marrying more than four wives at a time, and that too 
under special conditions. Definite laws were formulated to regulate marriage 
contracts, the property of women, rights to inheritance, equality in status 
and protection from any form of exploitation and abuse. 

The reform brought about by Islam radically changed the position of 
women in society, making them partners and helpmates of men. 

(a) Equality in Status 

A study of the Quran and Hadith tells us that in Islam a woman enjoys 
the same status as that of a man. The Quran says: 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


" You are members, one of another. 

There is no difference between 
the two as regards status, rights and 
blessings, both in this world and in 
the Hereafter. 

The first verse that we find in the 
Quran on this subject is as follows: 

'Mankind, fear your Lord who 
created you from one soul and 
created man's mate from the same 
soul, from these two scattering on earth many men and women. Fear God, 
in whose name you entreat one another, and be careful not to sever your 
ties of kinship. God is watching over what you do.' (4:1) 

This verse of the Quran tells us that God created man and woman from 
the same soul, that is, from the same substance. The entire human race came 
from Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman. Looked at in this 
way, human beings on this earth are blood brothers and blood sisters. 

Another verse of the Quran reads: 

'It is He who created you from a single soul and made from him his 
mate so that he might find comfort in her.' (7:89) 

This verse stresses what man and woman have in common, that is, both 
are a source of comfort to one another. 

The word 'comfort' relates to all the activities of life, meaning thereby 
that God created men and women in such a way that they assist one another 
in all matters of life, in order to go on life's journey peacefully and 

There is another verse in the Quran which tells us that men and women 
have equal status in the eyes of God. Neither is superior to the other. 

"I will not let the deeds of any doer among you go to waste, be he male 
or female. You are members, one of another." (3:195) 

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, the well known commentator on the Quran, remarks 
in his commentary on this verse: 

"In Islam the equal status of the sexes is not only recognised but insisted 
on. If sex distinction, which is a distinction in nature, does not count in 
spiritual matters, artificial distinctions, such as rank, wealth, position, 
race, colour, birth, etc., would count even less." 

Thus it will be the very same virtues in thought, word and deed which 
will be prerequisites for both sexes to enter Paradise. If the qualities of piety, 
humility, honesty, patience and compassion are demanded of men, they 
will in like measure be demanded of women. 



Goodword Islamic Studies 

There is a hadith which also explains that "women are the other half of 
men." That is, they are equal halves of one another. 

The Quran says that men are in charge of, that is, 7 maintained' of women 
(4:34). This does not mean that men have a distinctive status over women. 
Their being maintainers of women has never been intended as a form of 
discriminatory treatment. It rather concerns the practical management of 
the home, for which the man is held responsible. However, this does not 
mean that a woman will never be allowed to shoulder these responsibilities. 
If she finds that she can bear this burden, no objection will be raised from 
any quarter. One example of this can be found in the Quran with reference 
to the people of Sheba. They lived in Yemen. The famous dam of Marib 
made their country very prosperous and enabled it to attain a high degree 
of civilization. The Quran tells us that they were ruled by a woman (27:23) 
without disapproving of her rule. Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba was very wise 
and sagacious, even more so than the men in her court. She did not want to 
embroil her country in war, while the men advised her to confront her 
enemies, namely, Solomon's army. Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes: "In Bilqis 
we have a picture of womanhood, gentle, prudent, and able to tame the 
wilder passions of her subjects." 

It is an accepted principle with the commentators of the Quran that when 
the Quran reports something without any disapproval, that means that it 
has divine approval. 

So when we look at this incident in the light of the Quran, we find the 
status of woman even higher than that of men. A woman is in charge of men 
and she has been highly effectual in shouldering this responsibility. 

Thus the example of the Queen of Sheba having been mentioned in the 
Quran shows that rulership is not man's monopoly. A woman can be a 
'qawwam' over a man and the Quran has itself testified to it. 

(b) A Woman's Inheritance 

Islam recognizes the equal status of man and woman in the eyes of God. 
Therefore, women have their own legal standing under Muslim law. They 
are given the right to own property, dispose of it, inherit from their relatives 
and keep to themselves their own earnings, which they can spend in any 
way they wish. 

Women play many roles in society: they are daughters, sisters, mothers 
and wives to men. In their different capacities they are allowed a share in 
the properties of their relatives in proportions fixed by the Quran and 
explained in the traditions or legal literature. 

Most of the guidance relating to the inheritance of women is contained 
in the fourth chapter entitled 'Woman'. The Quran says: 'Allah (thus) directs 
you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 59 

that of two females: if only daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds 
of the inheritance; if only one, her share is half.. / (4:11). 

The next verse of the same chapter deals with the shares of husband 
and wife: Tn what your wives leave, your share is half, if they leave no 
child; But if they leave a child, you receive a fourth; after payment of legacies 
and debts. In what you leave, their share is a fourth, if you leave no child; 
but if you leave a child, they receive an eighth; after payment of legacies 
and debts. If the man or woman whose inheritance is in question has left 
neither ascendants nor descendants, but has left a brother or a sister, each 
one of the two gets a sixth; but if more than two, they share in a third; after 
payment of legacies and debts; so that no loss is caused (to any one). Thus is 
it ordained by Allah: And Allah is All-knowing, Most Forbearing." 

Women also have a right to make a will in the same way men are given 
this right and on the very same condition as men: that not more than one- 
third of the property shall be bequeathed and that those who will inherit as 
heirs shall not be entitled to take under the bequest. 

It is a grave sin to usurp the property of an orphan and even more so if 
the orphan is a helpless girl. To protect the weaker sections of society, Islamic 
revelation has given special emphasis to points that bring out the importance 
of giving due rights to these sections, including women. 

(c) Freedom in Marriage 

In Islam, marriage is a contract between two 
parties: a man and a woman. An essential condition 
is the willing consent of the contracting parties. To 
safeguard the interests of the parties, especially the 
weaker sex,, the woman is allowed to have a 
husband of her own choice and cannot be united in 
marriage without her consent. The Prophet said, 

'No widow should be married without consulting 
her and no virgin without consent and consent is 
her silence/ The marriage is dissolved if she declares 
that it was without her consent. 

The dower ( mahr ) must be mentioned in the nikah contract and a woman 
is entitled to her dower. Though a man is allowed to marry four women, he 
is instructed to give equal love and affection to, as well as make financial 
provision for all the wives. A wife, however, can have the right to divorce 
inserted as a proviso in her marriage contract. In case of divorce initiated by 
her husband, the wife keeps her mahr and also if the children are small, 
receives a stipend for their upbringing from the father. 

Under no condition can the wife be treated as a commodity. The husband 
must be kind and caring and see to her economic needs. However, a woman's 


Goodword Islamic Studies 

personal earnings are her own, which she can use as she chooses. Similarly, 
any property bestowed on or inherited by her, is hers by law and she can 
dispose of it as she pleases. 

(d) Mutual Rights Between Man and Woman 

The Quran and the law derived from it, give detailed guidance on the 
mutual rights of man and woman. A woman has rights over a man as a wife, 
daughter and mother and the man, while claiming his rights over a woman, 
should offer her such protection as is commensurate her status within the 

The fundamental principle with regard to women is that they should be 
held in honour ; the mother that bore us must be revered; the wife who is 
our best companion should be treated well. Men and women are quite equal 
to each other in their origin : 'O you mankind! Fear your Lord who created 
you from a single soul and He created thereof its spouse and from the pair 
of them spread across the earth many men and women' (4:1) 

The fourth chapter of the Quran deals with women. It begins with an 
appeal to the solidarity of mankind, the rights of women and orphans and 
the complexity of family relationships. It recognizes the rights of women 
pertaining to marriage, property and inheritance. Women as human beings 
are entitled to similar rights to life, honour and property as men. Sex 
distinction, which is a distinction in nature, does not count in spiritual 
matters. The reward for both sexes for their good deeds is similar. Both men 
and women are considered members of a family. 

Says Quran, T will not let go waste the deed of a worker amongst you 
male or female, one of you being from the other' (3:195) 

The equal status of the sexes is thus recognized in spiritual matters and 
they are also equal in their rights to live an honourable life. The position of 
a woman as a mother is highly exalted and, according to the Prophet, 
'Paradise lies underneath the feet of mothers/ And man is enjoined to be 
kind to his parents and particularly to the mother who bore him in pain 
(46:15). So far as wives are concerned the Quran says: "Live with them on a 
footing of kindness." (4:19) According to a saying of the Prophet: 'Best 
amongst you is one who is good to his wife/ 

In short, man and woman are so closely attached to each other that they 
are treated as each other's garments.(2:187) In other words they are for mutual 
support and mutual protection, fitting each other as a garment fits the body. 

(e) The Significance of Mohr (Dower) 

Islam has successfully maintained an even balance in society between 
men and women by endorsing a practical division of labour, whereby women 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 61 

are placed in charge of the internal arrangement of the household, while 
men are responsible for its financing. The home is thus organized on the 
pattern of a microcosmic estate, with the man in a position of authority. The 
Quran is specific on this issue: 'Men are the protectors and maintainers of 
women, because God has made some of them to excell others and because 
they support them from their means. All the righteous women are the truly 
devout ones, who guard the intimacy which God has (ordained to be) 
guarded/ (4:34) 


At the time of the marriage, the groom hands over to the bride a sum of 
money called mahr (dower) which is a token of his willing acceptance of the 
responsibility of bearing all the necessary expenses of his wife. There are 
two ways of presenting mahr to the bride. One is to hand it over at the time 
of the marriage, in which case it is known as mahr mu 'ajjal, or promptly 
given dower. (The word mu ' ajjal is derived from 'ajilah, meaning "without 
delay.") During the time of the Prophet and his Companions, mahr mu 'ajjal 
was the accepted practice and the amount fixed was generally quite minimal. 
The giving of mahr by 'Ali to Fatimah, the Prophet's daughter, is an illustration 
of how this custom was respected. After the marriage had been arranged, 
the Prophet asked 'Ali if he had anything he could give as dower in order to 
make Fatimah his lawfully wedded wife. Ali replied, "By God, I have 
nothing, 0 Messenger of God." The Prophet then asked, "Where is the coat 
of armour I once gave you?" 'Ali replied that it was still in his possession 
(although he later admitted "by the Master of his soul" that it was in a 
dilapidated condition and, as such, was not even worth four dirhams). The 
Prophet then instructed him "since I have married you to Fatimah" - to send 
the coat of armour to Fatimah, thereby making his union lawful. This then 
was the sum total of Fatimah's dower. 

Another way of giving dower, according to the shari 'ah, is to hand it 
over, not on the occasion of the marriage, but after a certain period of time, 
the duration of which is fixed by the man. This has to be settled at the time 
of the marriage if mahr is not to be handed over immediately. This form of 
dower is called mahr mu' ajjal, "a period of time." This has often been wilfully 
misinterpreted as implying an indefinite postponement of the giving of 
dower. But this is quite erroneous, for a definite date has always to be fixed 
for the discharging of this responsibility. 

Mahr mu' ajjal, however, can take the form of some service performed by 
the husband, one notable example of which was the grazing of cattle by the 
Prophet Moses. When Moses left Egypt for Madyan, he married Safoora, 
the daughter of the Prophet Shu 'ayb. His mahr mu' ajjal was settled and paid 
off by binding himself to grazing the cattle of his elderly father-in-law for a 

62 Goodword Islamic Studies 

period of eight to ten years. Only after performing this service for a full ten 
years did he leave Madyan for Egypt. 

The Opinions of Jurists 

The system of dower favoured by the shari'ah entails the immediate 
handing over of rnahr. This was the practice followed by all of the Prophet's 
Companions. Deferred dower is an alternative, but is not ranked equal in 
merit with a prompt discharging of this responsibility. It is simply a form of 
concession made to those who are unable to meet the requirements of mahr 
at the time of marriage. 

No Heavy Burden 

The dower, which may be in cash or in kind, has to be fixed taking into 
account the bridegroom's position in life. That is, it should never be more 
than he is easily able to afford, whether it be a lump sum in cash or some 
article of value. The jurists have different views to offer on what the 
minimum amount should be, but they are agreed that it should be substantial 
enough for something to be bought against it. Any amount which is sufficient 
for a purchase is acceptable as dower. 

There are no traditions which encourage an increase in the dower, 
whereas there are many traditions which enjoin the fixing of smaller dowries. 
In all such cases, Islam lays down guidelines rather than issue strict 
commandments. That is why Islam has not totally forbidden any increase in 
the dowry, and it is left to tradition to carry on the principle of fixing smaller 
sums. There is a well known saying of the Prophet Muhammad, according 
to 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas, that "the best woman is one whose dower is the 
easiest to pay." 

'Aishah was once asked how much dower the Prophet gave his wives. 
She replied that it was 12 auqiyah and 1 nash (one nash being equal to half an 
auqiyah, that is, about 500 dirhams). This was the only dower of the Prophet 
Muhammad for his wives. "But," she added, 'Umm Habiba's dower 
consisted of 4000 dirhams , this sum having been fixed by the Christian King 
of Abyssinia, Najashi, who had performed this marriage by proxy." 

The Companions and their Marriages 

In the first era of Islam, marriage was a simple affair, without pomp or 
ceremony. Any expenditure incurred in its performance being quite minimal, 
it did not become a burden on either family. In keeping with this principle, 
the wedding celebrations of the Companions were quite free of any 
ostentation. There is a saying of the Prophet that "the most blessed marriage 
is one in which the marriage partners place the least burden on each other." 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 63 

The simplicity which marked the occasion of marriage in the days of 
the Prophet is well illustrated by 'Abdur Rahman ibn 'Auf, one of the 
foremost of the Prophet's Companions, who was married in Madinah with 
as little ceremony as possible, not even thinking it necessary to invite the 
Prophet or any of the Companions. Imam Ahmad tells of how the Prophet 
came to know that' Abdur Rahman was married: 'Abdur Rahman ibn Auf 
came to the Prophet with the scent of saffron upon him, and when the Prophet 
asked him about this, he said, "I have married." The Prophet then enquired 
as to how much dower he had given his bride. "Gold equal in weight to one 
date stone," he replied. 

As mentioned above, there are only two lawful forms of dower in Islam, 
one being mahr mu'ajjal, which is handed over at the time of the marriage, 
and the other being mahr muajjal, which is to be given after, but at a definite 
point in time. That is, the man must fix a date for its payment, and must 
abide by it. The third custom, according to which a dower is to be given, 
without any time being appointed for the fulfillment of this due, is not in 
accordance with the Islamic shari' ah. Whatever is done on this basis is 
certainly unlawful. 


(i) The status of women in pre-quranic times. 

1. How did men treat the women in pre-quranic times? 

2. Did the women have any right over their own person or property? 

3. What was the fate of girls and women in that period? 

4. Did the women have any social or economic security in those days? 

5. How were the women exploited and abused? 

(ii) The rights of women in Islam 

1. 'In Islam the status of women and men is equal.' Explain. 

2. What changes in the status of women did Islam bring about? 

3. Write on a woman's right to inheritance in Islam. 

4. Is a woman allowed to inherit or make bequests in Islam? 

5. 'A Woman's earnings are her own to dispose of.' Elaborate. 

6. How does Islam provide women with the right to freedom in consent 
to marriage? 

7. What are the mutual rights between man and woman? 

8. How do the men have to look after women and offer them protection? 

9. What is ' mehr '? 

10. Is ' mehr ' integral to the validity of the marriage contract ( nikah )? 

Goodword Islamic Studies 


An Introduction 
to the Quran 

The word used for Islamic revelation is wahy. The literal meanings of 
wahy are to intimate or indicate; to communicate; to inspire; to instil in 
somebody's heart or to converse secretly. The basic sense, however, of the 
word wahy is to talk to others privately or to communicate silently. 

The word wahy has been used in the Quran with different meanings, for 
example, to convey some message to the heart: 

'We infused this into the (mind of) Musa's mother.' (28:7); 
in the assignment of duties to both living and non-living things: 

'And thy Lord commanded the Bee to build its cells in the hills.' (16:68) 


The Quran is composed of verbal revelations made to Muhammad, the 
Prophet of Islam over a period of twenty three years at Makkah (610-622) 
and Madinah (622-632). (The arrangement of the Quran is not in accordance 
with the chronological order of the revelation. The first revelation was verses 
2-6 of Chapter 96. The last chapter revealed was chapter 110.) 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


'And He assigned to each heaven its duty and command.' (41:12); 
and in silent converse: 

'Then (Zakariyya) came out from the shrine and told them by signs to 
give glory to their Lord morning and evening.' (19:11) 

In the instances mentioned above, the word ivahy is used in its literal 
sense. But the word wahy has been used more often in the Quran for the 
divine revelation made to the prophets: 

"Surely we have revealed (awhaina) to thee as we revealed to Noah 
and the Prophet after him (4:163) 

"Then we revealed to Musa to strike the Sea with his staff." (7:31) 

"And we revealed to Noah." (11:36) 

Forms of Revelation 

The Quran is composed of wahy matlu, the recited words, and the 
traditions (ahadith) are composed of wahy ghair matlu, i.e. divine 
communication with the heart. 

The Quran states: 

'He (Muhammad) does not speak out of his own fancy. This is no other 
than an inspired revelation. He is taught by one who is powerful and 
mighty.' (53:1) 

The external inspiration or wahy matlu has been divided into three 

1. Wahy Quran, that which was given by word of mouth by the angel 
Gabriel and which reached the ear of the Prophet after he knew it that it was 
Gabriel who spoke to him. 

2. Isharatul Malik : that which was received from Gabriel, but not by word 
of mouth. On such occasions the Prophet said: The Holy Ghost has breathed 
into my heart/ 

3. Ilham, or Wahi Qalbi : That which was made known to the Prophet by 
the light of prophecy. 

Ilham, or the inspiration of the sufis, should not be confused with the 
ilham of the Prophets. Wahy matlu is to be recited and forms part of the Quran, 
while wahy ghair matlu is the wahy which is meant to be read rather than 
recited. This is preserved in the form of the authentic traditions. 

So far as wahy matlu is concerned, it has reached us without the slightest 
possible error. The whole of it is preserved in the form of the Quran. But so 
far as wahy ghair matlu, or the traditions, is concerned, the actual wordings of 

66 Goodword Islamic Studies 

the sayings have not been preserved intact in every case. 

The following are the different ways by which, according to the Quran, 
God has communicated with His messengers, including the holy Prophet: 

Tt is not vouchsafed to any man that Allah should speak to him except 
by revelation, or from behind a veil, or through a messenger sent and 
authorized by Him to reveal His will/ (42:51) 

Other differences between wahy matlu and wahy ghair matlu is are as 

Wahy ghair matlu is the suggestion instilled by Allah into the heart or 
mind of His messengers. The Prophet understands the substance of the 
message. It may be a command or prohibition or an explanation of a truth. 

(a) Wahy matlu may be a verbal or literal revelation by which the actual 
words of God are conveyed to man in human language. This is also known 
as wahy jali (the apparent revelation); (b) the second way Allah communicates 
with a man who is a prophet, is by speaking from behind a veil; (c) the third 
way is through a messenger, i.e. the angel Gabriel brings the revelations to 
the Holy Prophet. 

The Hadith mentions following ways of revelations being made: 

1. Al-Ruya al Sadiqa (true dreams) 

According to a hadith, the true dreams are a 46th part of prophethood. 
Aisha, the Prophet's wife, observed that the commencement of the divine 
revelation to the Messenger of Allah was in the form of a true dream, which 
came true as the day dawned. 

2. ' From behind a veil' - The second way of communication from God to 
man is 'from behind a veil.' (38:51) Some scholars say that this refers to dreams 
and visions, because a certain light is shown in this case which has a deeper 
meaning than that which appears on the surface. The dreams mentioned in 
chapter 12 of the Quran are an illustration of this. It is through dreams or 
visions that God reveals certain truths. 

This also refers to the case of Musa with whom God spoke while He 
remained invisible to him. (20:13) 

3. Through a messenger - An angel used to make suggestions directly to 
the heart of the Prophet, while remaining invisible to him. As the Prophet 

'The angel Gabriel has suggested to my heart that no living being 
would pass away until he had lived out the life destined for him in the 

According to a Hadith the Prophet observed: 'Sometimes the revelation 
comes like the ringing of a bell (salsalatul jars). This type of revelation is the 
hardest of all and when I have grasped what is revealed, this condition passes 

Goodzvord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


Commenting upon this type of revelation, Aisha says: 'I saw the Prophet 
receiving a revelation on a very cold day and noticed that the sweat was 
dropping from his forehead. This condition lasted till the revelation was 

According to the Sahaba, the Prophet's body used to become very 
weighty during such a revelation, to the extent that the camel on which he 
was riding used to sit down due to the increased load. 

The Prophet would hang his head and his companions would do the 
same, and when that condition was over, he would raise up his head. 
Sometimes the Angel came in the form of a man. The Angel also visited the 
Prophet at times in the shape of the Prophet's companion, Dahiya Kalbi. 


(a) The Tozvrah 

The term Towrah is simply the 
Arabic equivalent for the Hebrew 
Torah, and normally understood as 
'The Law' given by God to the Prophet 
Musa. The Quran gives abundant 
testimony to the Towrah, and it is 
mentioned more than any other 
revealed book. Sometimes it is simply 
called 'The Law'. 

'We have revealed the Torah having guidance and light. By it, the 
prophets who surrendered themselves to Allah judged the Jews, and so did 
the rabbis and the divines, by what they were required to guard of Allah's 
books, and to what they are witnesses. 

'Have no fear of people: fear Me, and do not take a small price for My 
revelations. Unbelievers are those who do not judge in accordance with 
Allah's revelations. 

'(In the Torah) we decreed for them a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a 
nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds 
punishment. But if a man charitably forbears from retaliation, his remission 
shall atone for him. Transgressors are those that do not judge in accordance 
with Allah's revelations.' (5:44-46). 

From this quotation it can be seen that the Quran calling the Towrah a 
book of 'guidance and light' testifies that God had revealed it as the Law for 
the Jews. 

Goodzvord Islamic Studies 

Sometimes in the Quran, the name Towrah refers not only to the books 
of the Prophet Musa, but to the entire Hebrew scripture of the Jews, especially 
in the verses, which mention the Towrah and Injil together. 'He has revealed 
unto you (Muhammad) the scripture with truth, confirming that which was 
(revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Injil/ (3:3). 

When the Quran uses the expression 'People of the Book', it always 
means all the three communities: die Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims: 
'You People of the Book! Why dispute you about Abraham, when the law 
(Towrah) and the Injil were not revealed till after him? Have you no 
understanding?' (3:65). 

According to the Quran, the Towrah, the book that God revealed to Musa 
for the guidance of the Bani Isra'il, did in fact contain guidance and God's 
commands, admonition and a clear explanation of many things of the world, 
and of God's mercy. There are many verses regarding the granting of a book 
to Musa in which the Towrah is mentioned although not by name. The tablets 
(alwah) are also mentioned and they mean the same scripture: 

'And We ordained for him in the Tablets in all the matters, admonition 
and explanation of all things, (and said): 'Take and hold these with firmness 
and enjoin thy people to hold fast by the best of the percepts...' (7:145). 

But when Musa went back to his people with the Law inscribed on the 
Tablets (7:150) they had meanwhile turned away from God and the Truth 
and he became very angry. He prayed for them and they repented. 'When 
the anger of Moses was appeased, he took up the tablets: in the writing 
thereon was Guidance and Mercy for such that fear their Lord' (7:154). 

The Towrah, as originally revealed to Musa, must have been in the 
Hebrew language. But there is no copy of the original Book given to Musa 
extant today. As a matter of fact, during their long turbulent history, the 
Jews repeatedly lost their revealed books. According to the Quran, they 
also failed to maintain the standards prescribed by their scriptures. They 
made it 'into (separate) sheets for show' and concealed much of its content. 
Therefore differences have arisen among them, as they have distorted and 
changed God's word and its meaning. The Old Testament is considered by 
today's Jews as the Book revealed by God. But it cannot simply be equated 
with the Towrah mentioned in the Quran. The reason for this is that the Old 
Testament contains also the Zabur, the book of guidance given to the Prophet 
Daud. The Zabur is mentioned in the Quran as a revelation separate from 
the Towrah. 

(b) The Zabur 

The term Zabur is the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew word 'zimr', which 
is usually translated into English as 'psalm'. It was the book of revelation 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 

given to the Prophet Daud. In the Hebrew and Christian scriptures it is a 
part of the Old Testament. Daud was a prophet, but he was also a great 
ruler and singer of the divinely inspired hymns praising God and His 
creation, which form the Zabur. 

In the Quran, the Zabur is mentioned by name only three times: 

'...And to Daud We gave the Psalms.' (4:163) 

'And it is your Lord that knows best all beings that are in the heavens 
and on earth: We did bestow on some prophets more (and other) gifts 
than on others: and We gave Daud (the gift of) the Psalms.' (17:55) 

'Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): 

My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth.' (21:105) 

Thus the Quran, and also the traditions, very clearly confirms the Muslim 
belief in four heavenly books. The Quran mentions no other such heavenly 
books, though it mentions many prophets, some of them by name, and 
attributes many divine revelations to them. 

David, to whom God revealed the Zabur, was gifted with great eloquence 
and a beautiful voice. All gifts were given to the prophets according to the 
needs of the world and the times in which they lived. The Psalms were 
intended to be sung for the worship of God and the celebration of God's 

The Psalms are still extant and have been incorporated into the Bible. 
However, their present form may possibly be different from the original. 
Nonetheless, to a great extent, the Psalms retain their original state. 

(c) The Injil 

The Injil is the revelation given to prophet Isa. The term Injil is derived 
from a Greek word, which, when translated into English means 'gospel' and 
it occurs twelve times in the Quran. 

In Muslim belief Isa, the son of Mary, is considered to be the prophet 
immediately preceding the Prophet of Islam. His birth was miraculous and 
by the grace of God he was endowed with a life-giving spirit. Both he and 
his pious mother, Mary, are mentioned in the Quran many times. 

'We sent after them Jesus, the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the 
Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him 
compassion and mercy.' (57:27) 

This particular verse of the Quran very clearly states that the Prophet 
Isa was given the real Injil, which stressed the compassion and mercy of 
God. Most of the time, whenever mentioned in the Quran, Injil is coupled 


Goodword Islamic Sttidies 

with the Towrah or the law given to Moses. But there is always emphasis on 
the continuity of revelation and its culmination with the final revelation 
that is the Quran. 

'It is He Who sent down to you (step by step), the truth , the Book (the 
Quran), confirming what went before it: and He sent down the Towrah 
(of Moses) and the Injil (of Isa),' (3:3) 

'And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Towrah and the 
Gospel.' (3:48) 

The Injil mentioned in the Quran is not exactly what the Christians today 
consider their scripture, the Gospel of the Bible. The Injil in fact was the 
book revealed to the Prophet Isa himself and it is that book, which is 
mentioned in the Quran. The Gospel of the Christians is a compilation made 
one hundred years after the prophethood of Isa and was written down in 
Greek. Besides the Gospels attributed to the four apostles (John, Luke, Mark, 
and Matthew), it contains letters of Paul and Peter to the early Christian 
communities, as well as other written material. That is why the Quran and 
the traditions often refer to the corruption of the original scriptures. All 
heavenly books were sent by God for the guidance of mankind and to enable 
their adherents to judge all issues according to the divine laws as set forth 
in these Books. 

(d) The Quran 

The Quran, the Book of God, 
enshrines teachings, which were 
basically the same as were to be 
found in previously revealed 
scriptures. But these ancient 
scriptures are no longer preserved in 
their original state. Later additions 
and deletions have rendered them 
unreliable, whereas the Quran, 
preserved in its original state, is 
totally reliable. 

The Quran has 114 chapters. Its contents in a nutshell are: belief in one 
God, and considering oneself answerable to Him; firm belief that the 
guidance sent by God through the Prophet Muhammad is the truth and that 
man's eternal salvation rests thereon. 

The position of the Quran is not just that it is one of the many revealed 
scriptures but that it is the only authentic divine Book. All the other Books, 
due to human additions and deletions, have been rendered historically 

Goodzuord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 71 

unreliable. When a believer in the previous revealed scripture turns to the 
Quran, it does not mean that he is rejecting his own belief, but rather amounts 
to his having re-discovered his own faith in an authentic form. 

The Quran is a sacred book sent by the Lord of all creation. It is a book 
for all human beings, because it has been sent by that Divine Being who is 
the God of all of us. 

The Quran is no new heavenly scripture. It is only an authentic edition 
of the previous heavenly scriptures. In this respect, the Quran is a book for 
all human beings, of all nations. It is the expression of God's mercy for one 
and for all. It is a complete message sent by God for every one of us. The 
Quran is a light of guidance for all the world just as the sun is the source of 
light and heat for all the world. 

According to the Quran, Islam means submission. The religion of Islam 
is so named because it is based on obedience to God. A true believer in 
Islam is one who subordinates his thinking to God, who follows God's 
dictates in all aspects of his life. 

Islam is the religion of the entire universe, for the entire universe and 
all its parts are functioning in accordance with the law laid down by God. 

Such behaviour is also desired of man. Man should also lead his life as 
God's obedient servant just as the rest of the universe is fully subservient to 
God. The only difference is that the universe has submitted to God 
compulsorily, while man is required to submit to the will of God by his 
own choice. 

When man adopts Islam, first of all it is his thinking which is affected by 
Islam, then his desires, his feelings, his interests, his relations, his love and 
his hatred. All are coloured by his obedience to God's will. 

When man, in his daily life comes under God's command, his behaviour 
with people and his dealings are all moulded by the demands of Islam. 
From inside to outside he becomes a person devoted to God. 

Man, as the Quran tells us, is God's servant. Indeed, the only proper 
way for man to live in this world is to live as the servant of God. Islam, in 
fact, is another name for this life of servitude to God. Where the Islamic life 
is devoted to the service of God, the un-Islamic life unashamedly flouts the 
will of God. Islam teaches man to lead an obedient life and surrender himself 
completely to the will of God. It is people who do so who will share God's 
blessings in the next world. This is the essence of the teachings of the Quran. 


It is a matter of Islamic belief that God, in His mercy, has sent prophet 
after prophet to lead people forth from darkness to light. The belief in God's 

72 Goodword Islamic Studies 

revealed books forms an integral part of Islamic faith. 

However, for a variety of reasons, most of these revealed books sent by 
God could not be preserved. For instance, the Quran mentions the scriptures 
given to Ibrahim (87:14-19). but these are no longer in existence. 

These divine books commanded justice in everything and exhorted 
invited men to repent. 

The Quran describes Torah as Furqan (the Discriminator between right 
and wrong). It says "We gave Musa and Harun the Discriminator, and gave 
them a light ( Dhia ) and a Reminder for the Books (21:48). Furqan means that 
ideological standard which enables man to distinguish between Truth and 
falsehood. Dhia means divine guidance, which leads a man out of the 
darkness of the wrong path and puts him in the light of the straight path. In 
this way God has arranged for the guidance of man through His messenger. 

But it is possible for God's guide book to provide guidance in the real 
sense only when a man is anxious about his fate in the Hereafter. This anxiety 
makes him so serious that he attaches more importance to Truth and 
righteousness than to any other thing. 

However, even those ancient scriptures, which still exist today, have 
not been preserved from human interpolations. They have been tampered 
with at will by their adherents, who have retained the portions they wanted 
to and deleted the portions they disliked. Therefore, these scriptures have 
lost their veracity. 

The Quran, the last of the divine books, is the only revealed scripture 
which has been preserved from human interpolation. 

The Quran enshrines these teachings, which were basically the same as 
were to be found in previous revealed scriptures. But these scriptures are 
no longer preserved in their original state. The Quran has been preserved 
in its original state, therefore, it is an eternal guidebook which will never 
lose its relevance. 


Even before his prophethood, the Prophet Muhammad used to lead a 
moral life. Ibn Hisham, his biographer, writes: "The Messenger of God 
entered his adulthood as if God was protecting and watching over him. 
And He kept him safe from the evils of the time because. He wanted to 
confer on him honour and prophethood. Thus he reached a position of 
supremacy over all the men of his tribe. Of all of them, he was the best 
behaved. He was the noblest among them by his lineage and was the best 
neighbour. He was unparalleled in forbearance. He was honest in what he 
said, and the most trustworthy. He refrained from misconduct. Ultimately, 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 73 

he began to be called Al-Amin (the trustworthy) in Makkah." (Sirat Ibn 

After his marriage to Khadija and the expansion of business, he had an 
even better opportunity to live a life of comfort and success. 

But with the passing of the years he became less and less interested in 
business and devoted more and more of his time to the search for truth by 
means of reflection and meditation. Instead of trying to establish himself in 
his society, he took to the desert. He would often go to mount Hira, three 
miles from Makkah. 

He sought answers to the mysteries of life. What is man's true role in 
life? What does the Lord require of us, as His servants? From where has 
man come and where will he go after death? It was to find answers to these 
perplexing questions that he betook himself to the stillness of the desert. 
With all these questions in mind, worldly gain and loss, comfort and distress 
did not concern him. He urgently wanted the answer to these important 
questions about the truth. For nothing less than the truth could satisfy his 
soul. This phase of Muhammad's life is referred to in the Quran in this verse: 

" Did He not find you wandering and guide you?" (93:7). 

He spent the whole of the month of Ramadan in the Cave of Hira. Finally, 
after his spending six long months in the cave, God turned in mercy to His 
Prophet, to guide him to the path of truth. At the age of 40, on February 12, 
610 A.D., the Prophet was sitting all alone in his cave. The angel of the Lord 
appeared to him in human form, bringing the first message from God. These 
words form part of the beginning of the ninety sixth chapter of the Quran. 
The Prophet's quest had finally been rewarded. God granted him guidance 
and chose him as His Prophet. 

The angel said to him "Read." 

The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." 

Then Muhammad felt that his body was being squeezed hard. Then the 


Goodword Islamic Studies 

angel released him and repeated the same command. Again Muhammad 
replied that he did not know how to recite. Then the angel again squeezed 
him and then released him for the third time and said: Read!" 

Then a change came over him and he was able to repeat the divine words. 
Then Gabriel revealed to him the chapter Al-Alaq. 

"Recite in the name of your Lord, who created; who created man from a 
clot of blood; Recite, and your Lord is the most Gracious. It is He who 
has taught man by the pen that which he did not know." (96:1-5) 

Muhammad recited these verses repeating them after the angel. Then 
he found that these words were written on his heart (Ibn Ishaq). 

These verses, the first ever revealed to the Prophet, become part of the 
Quran as did other verses, which were revealed later. They have tremendous 
significance. They command the Prophet to stand up and to be ready to 
proclaim the name of the One God, the One Creator— of the Prophet and of 
all others — who has created man and sowed in his nature the seed of His 
own love and that of his fellowmen. The Prophet was commanded to 
proclaim this Message of God, and was promised by Him help and protection 
in its proclamation. The verses foretold a time when the world would be 
taught all manner of knowledge through the instrumentality of the pen, and 
would be taught things never heard of before. 

These verses constitute an epitome of the Quran. The foundation was 
laid in them of a great and till then unknown advance in the spiritual 
progress of man. When the Prophet received this revelation, he was full of 
fear ; of the responsibility, which God had decided to place on his shoulders. 
Any other person in his place would have been filled with pride. But the 
Prophet was humbled by the greatness of responsibility. He reached home 
greatly agitated. On Khadija's enquiry, he narrated the whole experience to 
her and summed up his fears, sayings, "How difficult it is to carry the 
responsibility, which God proposes to put on my shoulders." Khadija 
replied at once: 

'How can God do such a thing, while you are kind and considerate to 
your relations, help the poor and the forlorn and bear their burden? 

You are restoring the virtues, which had disappeared from our country. 

You treat guests with honours and help those who are in distress. Can 
you be subjected by God to any trial?' (Bukhari). 

Having said this, Khadija took the Prophet to her cousin, Waraqa bin 
Naufal, a Christian. When he heard the account, Waraqa said: 

"The angel who descended on Moses, I am sure, has descended on you . " 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 



(i) What is revelation? 

1. What does 'wahy' mean? 

2. What was the name of the revealed book given to the Prophet 

3. Was the revelation verbal or written? 

4. What are the forms of revelation? 

5. What is the difference between 'wahy matlu' and 'wahy ghair matlul 

6. In what ways were the revelations conveyed to the prophets? 

(ii) The chain of revelations. 

1. What are the names of the revealed books mentioned in the Quran? 

2. What is the Torah' and to which prophet was it given? 

3. Write a note on 'Zaboor'. 

4. Which prophet was given the 'InjeeV and what were its teachings? 

5. Why do we say that all the prophets and all the revealed scriptures 
carry the same message of God? 

(iii) The Quranic view of the revelation. 

1. Why is the Quran more perfect than the earlier revelations? 

2. Why did God finally send the Prophet Muhammad? 

3. Why did the former prophets' followers corrupt the earlier scriptures? 

(iv) The first revelation of the Quran. 

1. In what year did the first revelation of the Quran take place? 

2. What were the circumstances of the first revelation? 

3. What were the words of the first revelation? 

4. What was the Prophet Muhammad's reaction to the words of the 
angel Jibril? 

76 Goodword Islamic Studies 



Knowledge and the 
Quranic Teachings 


(a) The Importance attached to Knowledge in the Quran 

Islam attaches great importance to 
knowledge and education. When the 
Quran began to be revealed, the first 
word of its first verse was 'iqra', that is, 
read. Education is thus the starting 
point of every human activity. 

A scholar ( alim ) is accorded great 
respect in the Hadith. According to a 
Hadith, the ink of the pen of a scholar 
is more precious than the blood of a 
martyr. The reason being that a martyr is engaged in the task of defence, 
while an ali?n (scholar) builds up individuals and nations along positive 
lines. In this way he bestows a real life upon the world. 

The Quran repeatedly asks us to observe the earth and the heavens. 
This instils in man a desire to learn natural science. All the books of Hadith 
have a chapter on knowledge ( ilm ). In Sahih Bukhari there is a chapter entitled, 
"The virtue of one who acquires ilm (learning) and imparts it to others." 

For instance, there is a tradition that one who treads a path in search of 
knowledge has his way paved to paradise by God as a reward for this noble 
deed. (Bukhari, Muslim) 

In a tradition recorded by Tirmidhi, angels in heaven, fish in the water 
and ants in their dwellings pray for the well-being of a seeker of knowledge. 

In another hadith the Prophet of Islam observed that those who learned 
virtue and taught it to others were the best among humankind. (Al-Bayhaqi). 

How great is the importance attached to learning in Islam can be 
understood from an event in the life of the Prophet. At the battle of Badr, in 
which the Prophet gained a victory over his opponents, seventy men from 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


the enemy ranks were taken prisoner. These prisoners of war were literate 
people. In order to benefit from their education, the Prophet declared that if 
each prisoner taught ten Medinan children how to read and write, it would 
serve as his ransom and he would be set free. 

This was the first school in the history of Islam established by the Prophet 
himself with all non-Muslim teachers. Furthermore, they were all war 
prisoners. There was the risk that after their release they would again create 
problems for Islam and Muslims. This Sunnah of the Prophet shows that 
education is to be received whatever the risk involved. 

Women were not kept away from educational activities. Starting with 
the Prophet's own household, Muslim families provided equal opportunities 
to the female members of the family to learn to grow and play a constructive 
role in the progress and development of society at large. A large number of 
learned women are mentioned in history as authorities on various Islamic 
sciences such as hadith, Islamic jurisprudence, seerah of the Prophet, 
commentary on the Quran, etc. The Prophet's own wife, Aishah, imparted 
the knowledge and wisdom she received from the first educator, the Prophet 
himself, for almost half a century. She narrated more than two thousand 
traditions of the Prophet, and according to the Muslim jurists, these are the 
source of two thirds of the Islamic laws relating to social, political and cultural 

Islam attaches such great importance to learning that the Quran has this 
to say: 

"It is the men of knowledge who can truly realise God." (35:28) 

Scholars are considered to be like angels (3:18), in view of their potential 
for discovering the oneness and the glory of the Creator. To inculcate this 
importance of knowledge in the minds of the believers, the Prophet once 
observed that "the worship of a learned man is a thousand times better than 
that of the ignorant worshipper." By way of encouraging reflection on the 
universe and nature in order to explore divine glories, the Prophet is 
reported to have said: "An hour of reflection is better than a hundred years 
of worship without reflection." (Al-Bayhaqi). 

It was this interrelatedness of knowledge and worship that made the 
early Muslims seek and impart knowledge wholeheartedly and religiously. 

According to Islamic ideology, a Muslim is supposed on the one hand, 
to seek knowledge for the pleasure of his Lord and for on the other. The 
better promotion of the welfare of humankind. In other words, the motto of 
education in Islam would be acquisition of knowledge for the sake of serving 
God and His creatures. That is why from the very beginning almost equal 
attention has been paid to the learning of both the religious sciences and the 
worldly or secular sciences. 

78 Goodword Islamic Studies 

On the one hand, Islam places great emphasis on learning, and on the 
other, all those factors which are necessary to make progress in learning 
have been provided by God. One of these special factors is the freedom to 
conduct research. 

For example, once the Prophet passed by an oasis where he found the 
farmers, who were date planters at work. When he asked what they were 
doing, he was told that they were pollinating the clusters of dates in order 
to produce a better yield. The Prophet expressed his disapproval of this 
process. Knowing this, the farmers immediately stopped it. But later on the 
Prophet was told that due to lack of proper pollination the yield had been 
very low as compared to the previous years. On hearing this, the Prophet 
replied. "You know your worldly matters better." (Sahih Bukhari) In other 
words, experiment and observation should be the final criteria in such 
worldly matters. 

In this way, the Prophet of Islam separated scientific research from 
religion. This meant that in the world of nature man must enjoy full 
opportunities to conduct free research and adopt the conclusions arrived 
at. Placing such great emphasis on knowledge resulted in the awakening of 
a great desire for knowledge among the Muslims. This process began in 
Makkah, then it reached Madinah and Damascus, later finding its centre in 
Baghdad. Ultimately, it entered Spain. Spain flourished, making 
extraordinary progress in various academic and scientific disciplines. This 
flood of scientific progress entered Europe and ultimately resulted in the 
modem scientific age. 

(b) Universality 

A study of the Quran shows that its aim is to produce a universal 
approach in human beings. Universality means high thinking and an 
unbiased and unconditioned approach. We find an example of this quality 
in the Quran. It addresses us thus: 'O man, O mankind/ This shows that the 
approach of the Quran is based on universality. The very first chapter of the 
Quran begins with these words: Traise be to God, the Lord and Sustainer 
of all mankind/ Similarly, the Quran introduces God as the "Lord of the 
worlds", and not just the Lord of the Muslims or the Lord of the Arabs. He 
is also called 'the Lord of the East and the West/ (70:40) 

Similarly, the Quran cites the Prophet of Islam as a messenger sent for 
all mankind and not just for the Arabs. The Quran says: "We have sent you 
as a mercy to mankind." (21:107) 

This universality of Quranic revelation brings about universal approach 
in its believers. In another place Quran says: "Blessed be He who has 
revealed Al-Furqan (the Criterion) to His servant, so that he may be a warner 
to all mankind." (25:1) 

Gooctword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


This universal approach can be seen in all the teachings of Islam. For 
instance, at the end of namaz the faithful turn their heads towards the right 
and left and utter these words of greeting: 'Assalam-o-Alaikum wa 
rahmatullah' which means: 'May peace and blessings be upon you/ This is 
meant for all mankind inhabiting the lands towards the east and the west, 
the north and the south. This is, in fact, a universal greeting. 

In this way one of the aims of namaz is to instill in believers feelings of 
well-wishing for the whole world. The whole world should share in one s 
prayers. This is a lesson in universal thinking, which is daily given to the 
believers. Similarly, Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam takes the form of a 
universal gathering. Muslims belonging to all the nations of the world meet 
one another on this occasion. It is in fact an annual attempt to produce 
universality in believers. 

Conveying this universal divine message to all the nations of the world 
(dazvah) is another important teaching of the Prophet. As a requirement of 
Islam this turns every believer into a universal ambassador for dazvah activity 
is that of universal interaction. Coming out of the limited sphere of one s 
self, one is made to think at the level of all humanity. As a result, an activity 
like that of dazvah produces universal thinking among the faithful. The 
responsibility of dawah takes the believer out of the local sphere and turns 
him into a global personality. 

The truth is that universality is an inseparable part of Quranic thinking. 
One who adopts the Quranic way will start thinking at the universal level. 
His personality will be linked with the entire human brotherhood. In spite 
of being located in a particular region, he becomes a citizen of the universe 
as far as his thinking is concerned. In this respect, it can rightly be said that 
Islam or the Quran promotes universal citizenship. 

80 Goodzeord Islamic Studies 

(c) The Scientific Approach 

A study of the Quran shows that the Quranic approach is based neither 
on mythology nor on superstition, but on scientific principles. When we 
use the term "scientific approach" to describe a way of thinking, it always 
means that such thinking that is in accordance with reality. One with such a 
bent of mind will be scientific in all his dealings in the world. His thinking 
is totally in accordance with external realities. 

According to traditions, the Prophet of Islam used to pray: "O God, show 
us the truth in the form of truth and grant us the wisdom to follow it, and 
show us falsehood as falsehood and grant us the strength to keep ourselves 
away from it. Show us things as they are." 

This prayer of the Prophet of Islam is a fine example of the scientific 
approach. The Quran wants to inculcate this spirit in every believer. When 
a believer becomes eager to be granted this spirit to guide his thoughts, he 
begins praying for it. 

On a number of occasions we find this teaching expressed in different 
ways in the Quran. The Quran enjoins believers to 'fear God and speak the 
truth. He will bless your works and forgive you your sins. He who obeys 
God and His apostle shall win a greater victory." (33:70-71). 

This Quranic verse commands mankind to say what is fair. Qaul-e-Sadid 
means saying the truth in exact accordance with the facts. Just as the arrow 
reaches its target by being shot in precisely the right direction, similarly 
qaul-e-sadid hits the mark by making one's words correspond in every detail 
with reality. 

There are two kinds of human utterances: realistic and unrealistic. 
Realistic or sadid utterances are those that tally exactly with reality. 
Conversely, unrealistic utterances are those that do not take the actual state 
of affairs into account and are based on suppositions, conjectures, or mere 
opinion, rather than on fact. God approves of only the former types of 

There are a number of verses in the Quran that aim at inculcating this 
scientific spirit of thought in the believers. In all matters believers are to be 
guided by reason and logical thinking. 

According to the Quran, there are two kinds of thinking - sincere thinking 
and insincere thinking. That may be called double standard thinking. The 
scientific approach is characteristic of a sincere thinker. A sincere thinker 
cannot envision an approach which is not based on realism. He bases his 
life on sound and true foundations. On the contrary, it is the insincere thinker 
or a hypocrite that has no principles or scruples. His approach is based on 
opportunism and he changes his point of view and way of thinking to serve 
his own interests. That is why there is not even a grain of the scientific 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


approach in him. His thoughts and deeds are totally unpredictable. 

A sincere person, with a scientific approach and a scientific way of 
looking at the world, is one who comes up to the standard set by the Quran. 
At the same time, the insincere person is completely unaffected by and in 
fact free of the scientific approach. Therefore, he fails in life's test, as he is so 
obsessed with his egocentric thinking that he refuses to adopt scientific or 
realistic approach. 

The Quran is not a book of science in the technical sense, but there is no 
denying the truth that the Quranic approach is nothing other than the 
scientific approach. 

(a) Lawful 

Life, according to Islam, is an indivisible 
whole. All its areas, social and religious, are to be 
governed and controlled by Divine Law as 
revealed in the Quran and enshrined in the 
Hadith. For this reason, certain things have been held lawful ( halal ) while 
others are unlawful ( haram ) and thus prohibited to human kind. 

Halal (lawful) means that which is allowed and wholesome for humanity; 
haram (unlawful) that which is forbidden, and harmful. Before the coming of 
Islam, there were numerous opinions as to what things or sorts of behaviour 
were haram or halal. Islam established certain legal principles which were to 
become the determining criteria on which all future decisions as to what 
was haram or halal could be based. The Ummah was to follow a Middle Path. 
Muslims should constitute: 

'You are the noblest nation that has ever been raised up for mankind. 

You are enjoined (to do) justice and forbid evil. You believe in God.' 


As the first principle, humans should consider all the things that Allah 
has created and bestowed upon humanity: 

'Do you not see that Allah has subjected to your use all things in the 
heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in 
exceeding measure, both seen and unseen?' (31:20) 

The Messenger of Allah has said: 

'The lawful is plain and the unlawful is plain, and between the two are 
doubtful things that most people do not know of. So, whosoever avoids 
doubtful matters, secures acquittal for his faith and his honour, and 

82 Goodzoord Islamic Studies 

whosoever falls into doubtful matters, falls into that which is unlawful, 
like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary and is therefore apt 
to fall into it. Beware, every king has a sanctuary and the sanctuary of 
Allah are matters forbidden by Him. Beware, in the body there is a 
morsel of flesh. If it is well, the entire body is well, but if it becomes 
diseased, the whole body becomes diseased. Beware, it is the heart.' 

The tradition of the Holy Prophet quoted above gives us a golden 
principle and an unfailing touchstone for identifying the lawful from the 

It is a well-known fact that permissibility is the rule in Islam. Things 
only become unlawful through an express injunction of the Quran or Sunnah. 

Allowing things or disallowing them is the sole prerogative of Allah: 

It is not within the competence of any mortal to prohibit the allowed or 
allow the prohibited without any clear proof or authority contained in 
the Book of Allah or the Traditions of the Holy Prophet. Anyone zoho 
seeks to assume this right is guilty of calumny against Allah, because 
sovereignty from beginning to end belongs solely to Allah. Says the 

" And speak not concerning matters that your tongues lie about: "This 
is lawful and this is unlawful", in order that you invent falsehood against 
Allah. (16:116)" 

Allah intends ease, not hardship for man. He, therefore, makes him liable 
only for those things that are within his power. So, if one is driven by 
necessity, even things otherwise disallowed become allowed for him. For 
instance, eating swine-flesh becomes permissible for a man dying of hunger. 
Allah says: 

"But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience or seeking 
to transgress the due limits, then no sin devolves on him (in eating the 
prohibited things)." (2:173) 

The law of necessity, however, applies only to that quantity which is 
just enough for the purpose, and no more. 

Whether one realizes it or not, it is a fact that Allah, as a rule, has allowed 
all those things that are good, clean and beneficial to us and disallowed 
only those things that are evil, unclean and harmful. 

Man, therefore, is advised to submit to the will of Allah and restrict 
himself only to those acts and things that are plainly lawful or allowable in 

In certain cases there are clear injunctions, while in others halal is that 
which has not been pronounced haram (unlawful) in the Quran. 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


All the food and good things of the earth are lawful for men with the 
exception of those prohibited. But while gold ornaments and silk garments 
are lawful for women, there are unlawful for men. But, on the whole, as the 
aim of the Quran is to make life easier for the believers, there are innumerable 
things which are lawful while the unlawful things are negligible in number. 

(b) Unlawful 

Prohibitions in Islam are quite limited in 
number but elaborate in detail. They comprise 
the following topics: 

1. Prohibited food and drink 

2. Prohibited clothes and ornaments 

3. Prohibited matters in sex 

4. Prohibited matters in financial practices 

5. Prohibited matters in social relations 

Things leading to prohibited matters are 

also prohibited 

If Allah prohibits a thing, He prohibits its preliminaries as well. Similarly, 
in the case of usury, God's curse has been pronounced on its direct 
beneficiary as well as on the scribe and the witness to this abominable 

1. Prohibited food and drink 

God says: 

'O mankind! Eat of that which is lawful and good.' (2:168) 

The Qur'anic verse means that God has permitted mankind to eat all 
that is clean and lawful with the utmost pleasure. 

Islam has proscribed only those items of food or drink that are harmful 
for man. 

'He has forbidden to you the 'dead' (meat).' (2:173) 

The 'dead meat' would mean the flesh of any bird or animal that has 
died of natural causes, without being formally slaughtered or hunted down 
in an Islamic way. 

Forbidden too is anything slaughtered without mentioning Allah's name. 

In the case of the People of the Book, however, only that food is lawful 
which conforms to the principle of halal and haram set forth in their own 
religions and which has been slaughtered in accordance with the dictates of 
their own faith. 

Goodword Islamic Studies 

Intoxicants and narcotics are also haram 

The Messenger of Allah has said: Every intoxicating drink is khamr (wine) 
and every wine is prohibited. 

'0 you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling and idols and divining 
arrows are an abomination of Satan's handiwork. Leave them aside so 
that you may prosper. Verily, Satan seeks to excite enmity and hatred 
between you by means of intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you 
from remembrance of Allah and from (His) worship. Will you then (not) 
abstain?' (5:90-91) 

Narcotics, as we know them today, had no existence in the days of the 
Holy Prophet. There are, therefore, no clear-cut injunctions about them by 
name. We may however, easily conclude that they are equally unlawful 
and therefore prohibited; for Allah has proscribed all impurities for His 
servants. Their case, moreover, is the same as that of alcohol for, like alcohol, 
narcotics also take away man's reason and intellect. They destroy the addict's 
health and have a negative effect on his moral behaviour. They weaken his 
will, empty his pocket, disrupt the harmony of his family life and drive him 
to ruin and perdition. God says in the Quran: '...and do not kill yourselves 
(or one another). Verily, Allah is ever Merciful to you/ (4:29) 

He also says:'. ..and be not cast by your own hands to ruin.' (2:195) 

2. Prohibited clothes and ornaments 

Allah says in the Quran: 

'O children of Adam! We have bestowed upon you raiment to cover 
your shame as well as to be an adornment, but the raiment of piety is 
the best.' (7:26) 

There can be no doubt that clothes are meant primarily to cover man's 
nakedness and beautify his body. It is, therefore, not permissible for a man 
to expose what is meant to be covered. 

'Awrah (coverable part of the body) for a man, according to Islamic law, 
is between the navel and the knee . ' Awrah for the woman is, however, her 
entire body except the face and the palms of the two hands. And the 
nakedness should be so covered as not to reveal the shape of the covered 

3. Prohibited matters in sex 

Islam has never been inimical to man's legitimate aspirations nor has it 
ever sought to suppress his natural instincts or ignored his natural desires. 
It is rather a creed that is in perfect harmony with human nature. It is for this 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


reason that Islam has legitimized marriage, but taken care to regulate the 
relations between the two sexes and proscribed adultery and other forms of 
deviation from right conduct, and thus slammed the door on all that leads 
to disharmony and anarchy in society. 

The Quran, also, declares in no uncertain terms that a Muslim is 
forbidden to marry a mahram (close blood-relation). This interdiction is in 
perfect harmony with human nature. It is meant to remove unnecessary 
constraints in social relations and preserve harmony and dignity in family 

4. Prohibited matters in financial practices 

All financial activities and transactions in Islam are based on twofold 
principles: elimination of injustice and ensuring willing consent of all 
concerned parties within the frame wok of the Divine Law. It is for this reason 
that the following practices are declared unlawful in Islam: 

Usury (riba> 

On the question of usury the Quran says: 

'...Allah has declared buying and selling lawful and usury unlawful.' 


'O you who believe ! Fear Allah and give up all outstanding dues of 
usury if you are (true believers). But if you do it not , then be warned 
that you are at war with Allah and His Messenger. If, however, you 
repent, then you are entitled to (get back) your principal (without 
interest). Do no wrong and you shall not be wronged.' (2:278-279) 

It is clear from the above verses that practising usury is strictly and 
absolutely forbidden in Islam. 

Selling forbidden goods is haram 

The Messenger of Allah said: Tf Allah declared a thing unlawful. He 
also declared the taking of its price unlawful/ (Abu Dawud) 

'Verily, Allah and His Messenger declared unlawful the selling of 
alcoholic liquor, (the eating) of carrion and swine and (the making of) idols/ 
(Bukhari and Muslim) 

It is also unlawful to circumvent the commandments of Allah on these 
matters in any way. 

The Prophet of Allah has declared himself clear of all responsibility 
with regard to a person indulging in fraudulent practices in his dealings 
and activities. Cheating could take many forms. For example: it may be that 
a trader sells a defective commodity without pointing out the defect to the 

86 Goodword Islamic Studies 

buyer. Or else, he sells goods at exorbitant prices to an unsuspecting 
newcomer or stranger to the town, taking advantage of his ignorance of the 
prevailing market rates. 

5. Prohibited matters in social relations: 

Islam regulates man's relations with his Creator, with himself and with 
others in society. It does not make it lawful for anyone to encroach upon the 
rights of others or snatch away their freedom. It is also not allowed in Islam 
that the freedom accorded to an individual should become a licence for 
creating anarchy in society or serve as a tool for usurping the rights and 
freedoms of others. 

Sanctity of life: 

The Quran states: 'And slay not that life which Allah has made secure, 
save with due right.' (17:33) 

The Messenger of Allah also said: "Your blood and your property are 
sacred and inviolable for all of you." (Al-Bukhari) 

This tradition means that nobody is allowed to kill anyone without a 
legal right. This right is not meant to be an open licence to anyone to kill any 
other. Islam has clearly laid down the conditions under which one could be 
executed as a punishment. 

Lying, dishonety, betrayal and slander 

The Messenger of Allah said: 

'Verily, truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to 
Paradise; and if a person continues to speak the truth and remains in 
quest of the truth, he is enrolled with Allah as veracious. And falsehood 
leads to sinfulness and sinfulness leads to (hell) fire. A man who 
continuously lies and remains in quest of falsehood is recorded with 
Allah as a great liar.' (Al-Bukhari) 

Kidhb (lying) means saying something other than the truth, be it out of 
deceit or fraud or just for amusement. All forms of lying are prohibited in 

Social relations between man and man should be based on a clear 
conscience and mutual trust. Lack of trust leads to false suspicion and spying 
on one another. It is for this reason that Islam has prohibited harbouring 
evil suspicions. The Messenger of Allah said: 

'Shun suspicion, because suspicion is the biggest lie.' (Al-Bukhari). 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 



(i) The Quranic Concept of Knowledge 

(a) The importance Attached to Knowledge in the Quran. 

1. Why does the Quran attach such importance to knowledge? 

2. What is the highest form of knowledge according to the Quran? 

3. How is the realization of God dependent on acquiring 

4. Why should one revere the learned and the scholars? 

5. Why does the Quran emphasize the acquisition of knowledge 
and the education of children? 

(b) Universality 

1. How is Islam the universal religion? 

2. How is Islam the religion that can bring peace to the world? 

3. Write on the concept of brotherhood and fraternity taught by the 

4. Why can it be said that Islam is an eternal and pure religion? 

5. How does research into nature bring us nearer to God? 

(c) The Scientific Approach 

1. Why is the Islamic approach to the acquisition of knowledge 

2. In what does the Quran teach us a scientific approach to life? 

3. What is the role of reason and intellect in the scientific way of 
seeing things, according to the Quran? 

4. Why should we see reality as it really is? 

5. Why should we not put our trust in imagination and conjecture 
rather than adopt the scientific approach? 

(ii) Quranic commandments 

1 . What is the meaning of 'halal' and 'haram'7 

2. What are the prohibited foods and drinks? 

3. What types of garment are not allowed for men? 

4. Why are certain professions prohibited in Islam? 

5. Why is taking interest not allowed in Islam? 

6. With what aspects of social life do the Quranic commandments deal 
in detail? 

88 Goodword Islamic Studies 


The Economic Teachings 
of the Quran 



Islam not only allows but encourages honest trade and commerce. The 
holy Prophet is reported to have said that a truthful and trustworthy trader 
shall (in the Hereafter) be among the company of the Prophets, the truthful 
and the martyrs. Another Hadith is to the effect that his followers should 
carry on trade, as this has nine-tenths of the sustenance ( rizq ). There are a 
large number of verses of the Quran relating to trade and commerce, buying 
and selling. We are reminded that the beasts of burden created by Allah for 
carrying men and merchandise, and boats and ships which sail by His 
command through the rivers, seas and oceans, carrying merchandise and 
men, are among Allah's bounties (16:7; 23:22). 

Legitimate trade is allowed even 
during the Hajj (2:198). Men whose 
business activities do not divert them 
from prayers and charity are praised 
(24:37);while those who leave off 
prayers when they see some bargain 
or means of amusement are 
reprimanded (62:11); and we are told 
that the love of Allah and the Holy 
Prophet and the struggle for God's 
cause must have preference over 

All illicit ways of making money 
have been forbidden. For instance, 
gambling and games of chance; 
bribery and corruption; hoarding and 
profiteering; giving short measure or 
short weight; and usury. 

The Prophet of Islam advised 
traders not to sell the grain purchased 

Goodzuord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 89 

by them until they had weighed it. Another saying is that it is open to the 
buyer and the seller till they part either to keep the bargain or cancel it; and 
that traders must tell the truth and spell out the good and bad points of the 
goods offered for sale. If they do so, their trade shall be blessed; but if they 
tell lies and conceal defects, they shall not receive God's blessings. The Holy 
Prophet severely warned shopkeepers against selling their goods on false 

Economic activity in Islam is governed by what is economically, socially 
and morally good. Economic activity that is destructive of man's innate 
goodness and harmful to the individual and society has been declared 
unlawful or haram. 

Labour and economic risk: 

Gains from economic activity should be based on two factors: on labour 
and economic risk. Income from betting or gambling, for example, is therefore 
unlawful because it is not acquired through work or labour. Such income is 
called "unearned income". Income from lending money at a guaranteed 
rate of interest is unlawful because it is not earned through labour or 
economic risk. Income from such activities as usury, gambling, monopolistic 
trade practices, hoarding and speculation is therefore regarded as unlawful 
or haram. All the practices that are not based on productive work can be 
shown to create hardship and may even lead to social strain and upheaval. 

What is most severely condemned in particular is riba which is interest 
or usury. This involves lending money on condition that you get back not 
only the sum lent but an additional guaranteed sum — without any work bn 
your part and without any economic risk. Riba exploits the need of the 
borrower and may cause him economic hardship. The lender thus becomes 
a parasite feeding on the needs of the borrower. As such, riba lies at the foot 
of much of the economic and political instability in the world. 


Public finance as practiced in the early Islamic period was based on the 
ethical and social philosophy of Islam. It did not depend on the discretion 
of the ruler; rather it was based on the guidance from Islamic shariah and 
aimed at public interest. The general principles of public finance in Islam 
are derived from the verses of the Quran. Although certain economic 
teachings are to be found in the scriptures, the exact details of fiscal policies 
are not given. These were however elaborated upon by the Prophet of Islam, 
and so the Sunnah is the second most important authority on public finance 
in Islam. 

90 Goodword Islamic Studies 

The Quran says: '...of their 
wealth take alms' (9:103) and the 
tradition of the Prophet clarifies 
how the dues, collected from the 
wealthy are to be distributed 
amongst the poor. The aim was to 
achieve a healthy circulation of 
wealth in society. This task was 
entrusted to the state: this may be 
considered an example of the 
earliest public enterprise in Islam. 
The system of public financial 
enterprise at the time of the Prophet was very simple as the Prophet himself 
did not own anything of any great value, nor did the community give much 
importance to wealth. 

At the time of the first four caliphs, who were also companions of the 
Prophet, the public money collected consisted of alms ( zakat )or war booty 
or certain taxes. All the funds were collected in the public treasury ( bait ul 

The money was used for very specific purposes like the running of the 
government and the welfare of society. However, a major part was reserved 
for the support for orphans, widows, and travellers, for assistance in the 
marriage of orphan girls, and for the sick and destitute. 

The second caliph Umar said: 'Taxes are justified only when they are 
collected in a just and legal way and they are spent justly and legally.' 

Since Islam kept in view the totality of human activities, the state 
assumed an active role in looking after the welfare of its members. Ppublic 
works and care for the subjects of the states were always considered to be 
religious and moral obligations of the ruler. Abu Yusuf, a famous jurist 
always maintained the need for such state policies as secure the wellbeing 
of the people and increase the welfare of the subjects. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari 
says: 'The best of men in authority are those under whom people prosper 
and the worst of them are those under whom people encounter hardship.' 

Al-Ghazali too includes fulfillment of the basic needs of members of 
society as one of the socially obligatory duties carried out by the state. He 
states: 'It is incumbent on the ruler to help the people when they are facing 
scarcity, starvation and sufferings especially during a famine or when prices 
are high, and people fail to earn a living in these circumstances and it becomes 
difficult for them to make both ends meet. The ruler should, in these 
circumstances feed the people and give them financial assistance from their 
treasury in order to improve their lot.' 

To sum up, the fulfillment of basic economic needs, the defence of 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 91 

society from the enemy, support in times of famine and similar disasters 
are the social obligations of the state. In Islam the state enterprise is thus the 
public enterprise established with the sole aim of serving humanity. It is 
achieved through collection of dues and taxes by the state and then the 
utilization of these public funds, collected in the state treasury, for the good 
of the whole of society and all its members, on an equal basis and according 
to their needs. Islam does not lose sight of the whole human community in 
any of its commandments as revealed in the Quran and expounded in the 


Zakaat is the fourth 'pillar' of Islam. 

Zakaat means setting apart for God every 
year a certain portion of one's savings and 
wealth (generally 2.5 percent) and spending 
it upon religious duties and on needy 
members of the community. The fulfilment 
of this duty is, in fact, a kind of reminder 
that all one has is in trust from God. Man 
should, therefore, hold nothing back from 
God. To whatever one may amass in one's 
lifetime, one's own personal contribution is insignificant. If the Supreme 
Being, who is at work in the heavens and on the earth, refused to co-operate 
with man, there would be nothing that the latter could accomplish single- 
handedly. He would not be able to plant so much as a single seed to make 
things grow. Nor could he set up any industry, or carry out any other such 
enterprise. If God were to withdraw from us His material blessings, all our 
plans would go awry, and all our efforts would be brought to naught. 

Zakaat is the practical recognition of this fact through the expenditure of 
money for the cause of God. Islam requires man to consider his personal 
wealth as belonging to God and, therefore, to set apart a portion for Him. 
No maximum limit has been prescribed, but a minimum limit has definitely 
been fixed. According to statutory zakaat, each individual must abide by 
this and spend a fixed minimum percentage of his wealth every year in the 
way prescribed by God. While spending from his wealth, he is permitted 
neither to belittle the recipient nor to make him feel obliged or grateful to 
himself. His wealth must be given to the needy in the spirit of it being a 
trust from God, which he is making over to the genuine titleholders. He 
should feed others so that he himself is fed in the Hereafter, and he should 

92 Goodword Islamic Studies 

give to others so that he himself is not denied succour by God in the next 

Zakaat is a symbol of one's duty to recognize the rights of others and 
have sympathy with them in pain or sorrow. These sentiments should become 
so deep-rooted that one should begin to regard one's own wealth as 
belonging, in part, to others. Moreover, one should render service to others 
without expecting either recognition or recompense. Each individual should 
protect the honour of others without hope of any gain in return. He should 
be the well-wisher of not just friends and relations, but of all members of 
society. Zakaat, first and foremost, makes it plain to people that their entire 
'possessions' are gifts of God, and, secondly, dissuades the servants of God 
from living in society as unfeeling and selfish creatures. Indeed, throughout 
their entire lives, they must set aside some portion for others. 

We must serve our fellow human beings only in the hope of receiving a 
reward from God. We must give to others with the divine assurance that we 
>viH he repaid in full in the next world. In a society where there is no 
exploitation, feelings of mutual hatred and unconcern cannot flourish. A 
dimate of mutual distrust and disorder is simply not allowed to come into 
being; each person lives in peace with another, and society becomes a model 
of harmony and prosperity. 

On the legal plane, zakaat is an annual tax, or duty; in essence and spirit, 
ills recognition on the part of man of the share which God, and other men, 
h#e in his wealth. 

i There are two forms of charity in Islam — obligatory and voluntary. In 
addition to zakaat there is sadaqah . Zakaat, derived from the word zakaah, 
means to purify. By giving up a portion of the wealth in one's possession, 
the remainder, to be used by the alms-giver, is purified or legalised. 

According to the teachings of Islam, die giving of sadaqa serves a number 
of functions . Sadaqa, first and foremost acts as expiation for sins. Believers 
are asked to give sadaqa immediately following any transgression. Voluntary 
alms-giving can also compensate for any shortcoming in the past payment 
of zakat. Sadaqa also gives protection against all kinds of evils, wards off 
affliction in this world, questioning in the grave, and punishment on 
Judgement Day. It is, therefore, recommended that one give sadaqa, 'by night 
and by day, in secret and in public' in order to seek God's pleasure (2:274). 
The constant giving of a little is said to please God more than the occasional 
giving of much. Sadaqa is also a means of moral edification. It purifies the 
soul of the evil of avarice, and is a reflection of the generosity of God the 
All- Giving. 

Inspired by the verses of the Quran and the traditions and practices of 
the Prophet and his companions, the giving of sadaqa to individuals or 
institutions remains a widespread practice among Muslims. The Prophet, 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


the most generous of men, used to make personal donations. When asked 
for anything, he never refused. If he had nothing to give, he would borrow 
from one of his companions and repay him later. 

Zakaat is God's due portion of what we own and what we produce. There 
are many ways of making a living in this world: one can work on the land, 
in a factory, a shop or in an office. But what part do we actually play in all 
this? Our role is, in fact, minimal. Multiple forces are at work in the universe 
and within ourselves. All these forces come together to enable us to earn a 
livelihood. All this has been ordained by the Lord of the Universe. That is 
why, once a year, one should calculate one's earnings, and put aside a portion 
for God. By doing so, one acknowledges the fact that it is all from God. 

Without His help, one could earn nothing. To spend for the cause of 
God is to express a sublime attachment to the Lord. It shows a yearning to 
empty oneself before Him. One should feel as one gives that one is offering 
everything to God and seeking nothing for oneself. The following verse 
shows the spirit in which a Muslim should help others: 

'We feed you for God's sake only ; we seek of you neither recompense nor 
thanks.' (Quran, 76:9 ) 

There are eight categories of people, eligible to receive Zakaat which 
have been specified in this verse of the Quran: 

"Alms shall be used only for the advancement of God's cause, for the 
ransom of captives and debtors, and for distribution among the poor, 
the destitute, wayfarers, those that are employed in collecting alms, and 
those that are converted to the faith. This is a duty enjoined by God. He 
is Wise and All- Knowing." (9:60) 

Zakaat funds are to be spent, according to the Quran, on the poor and 
the destitute, the wayfarer, the bankrupt, the needy, converts, captives, 
collectors of zakaat and in the cause of God. The last category allows Zakaat 
funds to be used for the general welfare of the community — education, social 
work, etc. Zakaat in spirit is an act of worship, while in its external form, it is 
the carrying out of a social service. 

Zakaat is thus not merely the payment of a tax, as it is generally 
understood, but rather a matter of great religious significance. Its importance 
is underscored by the fact that the Quran treats it on a par with (salat) prayer. 
The Quran frequently enjoins the believers, 'to say prayers and pay the zakaat' 
and goes to the extent of saying that one cannot attain righteousness unless 
one spends out of one's wealth for the love of God: 

"By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give of that 
which you love." (3:92) 

94 Goodword Islamic Studies 

Moreover, the Quran disapproves of people who make a show of their 
alms-giving. (2:271) 

Zakaat is a test of the sincerity and unselfishness of the believer. For 
there is no authority to force any Muslim to pay it. It is entirely up to the 
conscience of the individual whether or not he or she pays it. The willingness 
to pay, shows that one's heart is free of the love of money. It shows that one 
is prepared to use one's money for the service of humanity. 

The Prophet of Islam was always very concerned for the poor and the 
needy. He went so far as to say: 

'He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbour remains hungry 
by his side.' (Muslim). 


Agriculture is essential 
and should be given priority in 
any community. God, 
according to the Quran, has 
spread out the earth and made 
it fertile and therefore fit for 
cultivation. He sends the 
"fertilizing winds" to drive the 
clouds and scatter the seeds 
and He sends down rain to 
bring forth vegetation of all 
kinds. The many verses in 
which these bounties and favours of God are mentioned all serve to 
encourage people not only to thank God but to engage in farming. 

There are many sayings of the Prophet which commend agricultural 
production. The Prophet of Islam once said: 

"When a Muslim plants a tree or cultivates a crop, no bird or human 
being eats from it without its being accounted as a (rewardable) charity 
for him." 

Stressing the importance of irrigation and land reclamation for 
agricultural purposes, the Prophet also said: 

Whoever brings dead land to life, for him there is a reward in it, and 
whatever any creature seeking food eats of it, shall be considered as charity 
from him." 

Agriculture is a vital activity which has benefits in this world and rewards 


Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


in the Hereafter. This was one occupation, which the Prophet considered 
very dignified. Although many people do not look upon farmers and 
shepherds with respect, the Prophet gave dignity to this occupation when 
he said: 

" God did not send a prophet without his having tended sheep." 

"You too, O Messenger of Allah?" asked his companions. 

"Yes, I tended sheep for wages for the people of Makkah." 

One should observe all the Islamic advice and regulations about the 
proper care and treatment of animals: to provide for them all that their kind 
require, not to burden them beyond what they can bear, not to injure them 
and if they are used for food, to slaughter them in the most calm. Kind and 
efficient manner. 

Industrial production 

While agriculture is essential 
and highly encouraged as an 
occupation, the Prophet saw that it 
was undesirable that people 
should confine their economic 
efforts solely to agriculture and 
pastoral pursuits. 

Muslims needed to develop in 
addition to agriculture the industries, crafts and skills which were needed 
to build a strong community. 

The Quran mentions the opportunities and the needs for various types 
of industrial production involving the use of iron, copper and other 
minerals — resources which God has placed at the disposal of man. 

"And We provided and revealed the use of iron, in which there is great 

power and benefits for mankind..." (57: 25) 

It speaks, for example, of the value of shipbuilding and the vast expanses 
of ocean, which can be explored in various ways for the benefit of mankind. 

In engaging in industrial production and the manufacture of goods, the 
benefit of mankind and the environment in general and the needs of the 
Muslim community in particular must be given high priority. Whatever is 
harmful, or is intended for a harmful purpose, should not be manufactured 
or produced. Whatever is harmful to the beliefs, good morals and life style 
of a society should likewise not be produced. 

96 Goodword Islamic Studies 


The Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet, urge Muslims to engage in 
trade and commerce, and to undertake journeys for what the Quran refers 
to as "seeking the bounty of God". 

All trade in Islam is allowed unless it involves injustice, cheating, making 
exorbitant profits, or the promotion or selling of something which is haram. 

It is haram to do business in alcoholic drinks, intoxicants, harmful drugs, 
or anything, the consumption and use of which Islam has prohibited. Selling 
or trading implies promoting them among people and thus encouraging 
them to do what is haram. The Prophet, peace be on him, said: 

"When God prohibits a thing , He prohibits (giving and receiving) the 
price as well. " 

Any healthy community or society needs a variety of professions to 
meet its needs. Professions relating to man's basic needs — food, clothing, 
shelter, health care, education, defence — are given priority. 

Professions involving the use or propagation of harmful knowledge 
are not allowed. Under this category come astrology and the occult arts, etc. 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 



(i) Economic activity 

1. What economic activities are encouraged in the Quran? 

2. What economic practices are forbidden in the Quran? 

3. Why is it said in the Quran that all economic activity should be 
based on two factors: labour and economic risk? 

4. Why are trade and commerce considered to be proper ways of 
earning a living in Islam? 

5. Why should one always abstain from unlawful gains? 

(ii) Public and private enterprise. 

1. What was public finance based on in early Islamic times? 

2. What is 'bait ul maV ? 

3. How did the state look after the weaker sections of the population 
in early Islamic times? 

4. Islam keeps the economic life of the whole of society in view/ 

5. How should the richer members of society help those in need? 

(iii) The Concept of zakat and sadaqah. 

1. What is 'zakat'? 

2. What is 'zakat' spent on according to Islamic commandments? 

3. What is 'sadaqah'? 

4. What function does 'sadaqah' serve? 

5. Why is the giving of alms so important in Islam? 

(iv) The Utilization of Economic resources. 

1. What do we call 'economic Resources'? 

2. Why did God entrust man with the right to use the economic 
resources of nature? 

3. What are the roles of trade and agriculture in Islam? 

4. What is the Islamic view of industrial production? 

5. What type of economic activity and utilization of resources are 
not allowed in Islam? 

98 Goodword Islamic Studies 

"n introduction to 

9 Hadith 



Hadith meaning a 'statement' or 'report' is used as an Islamic term for 
the records kept of the words, deeds and sanctions of the Prophet 
Muhammad. Some scholars have also included in hadith the sayings and 
doings of the companions of the Prophet. In English very often in place of 
'hadith' the term 'traditions of the Prophet' or simply 'traditions' is used. 

The necessity of hadith 

The hadith gives a full account of the life of the Prophet, and serves as 
the commentary to the Quran. The Islamic jurisprudence or law (called fiqh) 
considers hadith to be the second fundamental source in all legal rulings. 

The Quran principally deals with basics. It is the hadith that gives the 
details and necessary explanations of the Quranic injunctions. For instance, 
the Quran says: 'Regularly say your prayers.' But it does not specify how 
this form of worship has to be performed. Not even the timings and raka'a 
(units of prayers) are clearly mentioned. We need the traditions to have full 
information on this. 

Even after knowing the details, it may not be possible to follow the 
divine injunctions contained in the Quran, for not everything can be properly 
understood by words alone. Therefore God's Prophet demonstrated before 
the faithful how the practice of worship was to be performed. He said to the 
believers: 'Look at me, see how I worship, and follow me.' 

Thus the Prophet, besides teaching the believers about the divine 
commandments in a theoretical way, also put these teachings into practice 
in all matters pertaining to religion. He himself practiced the divine 
injunctions scrupulously. His practice was not a private matter; it had the 
status of a detailed interpretation and application of the Quran. Once a 
companion asked the Prophet's wife Aisha about the character of the Prophet. 
Aisha replied: 'He was an embodiment of the Quran.' 

The Quran repeatedly reminds us of the importance of hadith, enjoining 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 99 

us to strictly follow the Prophet: 

'...Obey God and obey the messenger...' (4:58) 

'Whatever the messenger gives you, take it and whatever he forbids, 
abstain from it...' (59:7) 

'And, truly, in the messenger of God you have a good example for him 
who looks to God and the Last Day and remembers God always.' (33:21) 

The Quran thus provides the fundamentals of religion. It is the hadith, 
which furnishes us with the necessary details and explanations. It is as if 
the Quran was the text and the hadith its commentary: the Quran being the 
theory and the hadith being the practice. Thus the Quran and hadith cannot 
be separated from one another. They are complementary to each other. Both 
are equally essential for the establishment of religion. 


A Brief History 

The history of the compilation of 
Hadith may be broadly divided into 
four stages: 

1 . The first stage relates to the period 
of the Prophet till 10 A.H. 

2. The second stage is approximately 
from 11 A.H. to 100 A.H. This is 
the period of Sahaba, the 
companions of the Prophet. 

3. The third stage is from about 101 
to nearly 200 A.H. This is the period of the Tabiun, the disciples of the 
companions of the Prophet. 

4. The fourth stage is roughly from 200 A.H. to 300 A.H. This is the period 
of Taba Tabiun, the disciples of the disciples. 

Compilation During the Period of the Prophet 

During the life of the Prophet there was no regular compilation of the 
traditions, for they were not generally recorded in writing . However, they 
were orally transmitted, with great accuracy of detail, thanks to the Arabs' 
exceptionally retentive memories. 

100 I Goodword Islamic Studies 

1. Some companions had, however, prepared written collections of 
traditions for their own personal use Those companions, in particular, 
who had weaker memories used to write them down for memorizing 
and preservation. These were also dictated to their disciples. 

2. Then there were those companions who had administrative offices 
arranged for written copies of traditions, so that they might carry out 
their duties in the true spirit of Islam. For instance, while appointing 
Amr ibn Hazm as the governor of Yaman, the Prophet himself gave him 
a letter containing the times of prayer, methods of prayer, details of 
ablution, booty, taxation, zakat, etc. 

3. Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As, a young Makkan, also used to write down 
all that he heard from the Prophet. He had even asked the Prophet if he 
could make notes of all that he said. The Prophet replied in the 
affirmative. Abdullah called this compilation Sahifah Sadiqa (The Took 
of the Truth). It was later incorporated into the larger collection of Imam 
Ahmad ibn Hambal. 

4. Anas, a young Madinan, was the Prophet's personal attendant. Since 
Anas remained with the Prophet day and night, he had greater 
opportunities than the other companions to listen to his words. Anas 
had written down the tradition on scrolls. He used to unroll these 
documents and say: "These are the sayings of the Prophet, which I have 
noted and then also read out to him to have any mistakes corrected." 

5. Ali ibn Abi Talib was one of the scribes of the Prophet. The Prophet 
once dictated to him and he wrote on a large piece of parchment on both 
sides. He also had a sahifa (pamphlet) from the Prophet which was on 
zakat (the poor due) and taxes. 

Besides these there were some other documents dictated by the Prophet 
himself — official letters, missionary letters, treaties of peace and alliance 
addressed to different tribes — all these were later incorporated into larger 
collections of Hadith. 

Compilations of the Time of the Companions of the Prophet. 

After the death of the Prophet, interest in Hadith literature increased 
greatly on two accounts. Firstly, the Companions who knew the Hadith at 
first hand were gradually passing away. Their number continued to diminish 
day by day. Therefore, people became more keen to preserve the precious 
Hadith literature that had been stored in their memories. Secondly, the 
number of converts was growing and they showed great eagerness to learn 
as much about the traditions as possible. 

This was the age of the rightly guided Caliphs. In this age the 
Companions had settled in almost all the countries conquered by the 
Muslims. People flocked to them to hear traditions from them. Thus a number 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


of centres for the learning of traditions came into existence with these 
Companions as the focus. When a disciple had learned all the traditions he 
could from one Companion, he would go to the next Companion and so on, 
collecting as many traditions as possible. The zeal of these disciples was so 
great that they undertook long journeys to collect traditions from different 

In this period, there were not many regular compilations. This was rather 
the period of collecting traditions. The work of compilation took place on a 
large scale during the age of Tabiun, the disciples of the disciples. 

The Age of Tabiun from 101 to nearly 200 A.H. 

This is the age of the followers of the companions of the Prophet. They 
devoted their entire lives to collecting traditions from different centres of 
learning, with the result that a large number of traditions were preserved. 
Now it became possible to collect several memoirs in larger volumes. 

Mohd ibn Shihab A1 Zuhri, the first regular compiler, was one of the 
most distinguished traditionists. Ibn Shihab Zuhri and Abu Bakr Al-Hazm 
were asked by Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, the Umayyad caliph, to prepare a 
collection of all available traditions. Umar bin Abul Aziz wrote to Abu Bakr 
A1 Hazm: "Whatever sayings of the Prophet can be found, write them down, 
for I fear the loss of knowledge and disappearance of learned men, and do 
not accept anything but the Hadith of the Holy Prophet, and people should 
make knowledge public." 

The compilations made in this period do not exist today independently, 
having been incorporated into the larger collections of the later period. These 
collections were not exhaustive works on Hadith. Their nature was that of 
individual collections. 

After the individual compilations of this period, comes the Al Muwatta 
of Imam Malik (716-795), the first regular work which contained a well- 
arranged collection of traditions. The number of the traditions collected by 
him is put at 1700. This came to be accepted as a standard work. 

In this period the traditions respectively of the Prophet and his 
companions, and the decisions / edicts of the Tabiun were collected together 
in the same volume. However, it was mentioned with each narration whether 
it was that of the Prophet, his companions or of the followers. 

The Third Age of Taba Tabiun (Followers of the Successors) 

This age of the followers of the companions' successors from 200 to 300 
A.H., is the golden age in Hadith literature. 

1. In this age the Prophet's traditions were separated from the reports of 

the companions and their successors. 

102 Goodword Islamic Studies 

2. The authentic traditions were very carefully and painstakingly sifted 
from the "weak" traditions and then these were compiled in book-form. 

3. Elaborate rules were framed, canons were devised to distinguish the 
true from the false traditions in accordance with clear principles. 

The main attention of scholars who engaged themselves in the critical 
scrutiny of Hadith was given to the recorded chains of witnesses ( isnad ); 
whether the dates of birth and death and places of residence of witnesses in 
different generations were such as to have made it possible for them to meet, 
and whether they were trustworthy. This activity, to be properly carried 
out, involved some feeling for the authenticity of the text itself; an 
experienced traditionist would develop a sense of discrimination. 

All traditions therefore fall into three general categories: (sahih) sound, 
having a reliable and uninterrupted isnad and a( main) text that does not 
contradict orthodox belief; (hasan) good those with an incomplete isnad or 
with transmitters of questionable authority, (dhaif) weak those whose main 
or transmitters are subject to serious criticism. 

By the use of these criteria the Hadith scholars were able to classify the 
traditions according to their degrees of reliability. 

This is the period in which six authentic collections of traditions were 
compiled. These works are considered standard works on Hadith, and are 
known as the six correct books (sihah-e-sittah) . The authors' names and book 
titles are as follows: 

1. Muhammad b. Ismail al Bukhari, (194 A.H.-256 A.H.): Sahih. This work 
is next to the Quran in authenticity. 

2. Muslim bin Qushairi (204 A.H.-261 A.H.): Sahih. This is the next most 
important work on Hadith. 

3. Ibn Majah (202 A.H.-275 A.H.): Sunan 

4. Abu Isa al Tirmizi (209 A.H.-279 A.H.): Jame 

5. Abu Abdur Rahman an Nasai (214 A.H.-303 A.H.): Sunan 

6. Abu Da'ud (202 A.H.-275 A.H.): Sunan 


The early writers on the subject of the hadith evolved certain rules to 
classify the hadith. There are two main types of classification in use. One 
deals with the degree of the authenticity of the tradition, while the other 
takes as its base the way the tradition was transmitted. 

As far as the first classification is concerned, the traditionists have 
divided the traditions into three classes, according to the degree of reliability 
based on the perfection or imperfection of the chain of their transmitters. 
Also, they saw whether the texts had any hidden defects. The acceptance or 

Good-word Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 103 

rejection of the particular hadith by the Companions, the Followers and 
their Sucessors was also taken into consideration. 

These three classes are: 

a) Genuine ( Sahih ) - this name is given to a faultless hadith, in which there 
is no weakness either in regard to the chain of transmission ( isnad ) or in 
regard to the text (matri), and in which there is no contradiction of any 
kind of any of the established beliefs of Islam. 

b) Fair (Hasan) - this hadith is similar to Sahih hadith only some of its 
narrators might have to be found to have weaker or defective memory 
as compared to the narrator of Sahih hadith. 

c) Weak (dhaif) or - this is a tradition, in respect of which some serious 
doubts can be raised. These doubts might be in respect to its content or 
the text, or because one or more of its transmitters are considered 

d) Forged (Maudu) - this is a totally forged hadith. 

The writers on the Science of Hadith as well as the jurists, have also 
divided the traditions according to the number of their transmitters during 
the first three generations of the Muslims, into three types: mutawatir, mashhur 
and ahad. 

2. Mutawatir - these are the traditions which have been transmitted 
throughout the first three generations of the Muslims by such a large 
number of transmitters that there is no doubt that the hadith is genuine. 

2. Mashhur - these are the traditions, which, having been originally 
transmitted in the first generation by two, three or four transmitters, 
were later on transmitted on their authority, by a large number of 
transmitters in the next two generations. 

3. Ahad - There are the traditions, which were transmitted during the first 
three generations of the Muslims by one to four transmitters only. 


Sihah al Sitta or the 'six correct books' is the name given to six collections 
of Hadith, which are considered standard and most authentic by all Muslims. 
These are: 

2. Sahih of Muhammad bin Ismail al Bukhari (d.236 A.H.) His Sahih is 
considered to be next to the Quran in authenticity. 

104 Goodword Islamic Studies 

2. Sahih of Muslim bin Qushairi (d.261 A.H.). His Sahih is the next most 
important collection of hadith. 

3. Sunan of Ibn Majah (d.275 A.H.). 

4. Jame of Abu Isa al Tirmizi (d.279 A.H.) 

5. Sunan of Abu Abdur Rahman al Nasai (d.303 A.H.) 

6. Sunan of Abu Da'ud (d.275 A.H.) 

The most important work of 
hadith literature is the Sahih of al- 
Bukhari, who Questioned more than 
one thousand masters of hadith, even 
those living in very far- away parts 
of the Muslim world. Another Sahih 
was compiled almost simultaneously 
with it. This was the collection of 
hadith of Muslim bin Qushairi. 

These two collections are the 
ones, which are used most widely by 
all Muslims. 

Ibn Majah travelled widely to collect traditions from the well-known 
Traditionists of his time. He compiled several works of Hadith of which the 
most important is the Sunan . In this work, Ibn Majah collected together 4000 
traditions in 32 books divided into 1500 chapters. The number of weak ( dhaif) 
traditions it contains is not very large, just about 30. But it does contain 
some traditions, which are considered by the authorities on the subject to 
be forged (maudu'). 

Abu Isa al Tirmizi was a student of Abu Da'ud and his collection follows 
and improves upon the techniques of classifying the hadith as proposed by 
his master. Jame of Tirmizi contains all the traditions - legal, dogmatic and 
historical - that had been accepted by the Muslim jurists of one school or 
another, as the basis of Islamic law. 

Al Nasai' collected hadith in his work Sunan. He entirely ignored the 
point of view of his senior contemporary, al-Tirmizi on the question of the 
application of traditions to various problems that might have been made by 
different schools of the Muslim juriprudence. His main object was to establish 
the text of traditions and the differences between their various versions, 
which he quotes extensively. In many places, he gives headings to the 
differences between the various narrators. 

Abu Da'ud was another important compiler of hadith. Before writing 
his Sunan he examined five lakhs of traditions, and selected from them only 
4800 to be put in his book. The whole task took him 20 years to complete. 
He kept up the scrupulous exactitude of his predecessors in reproducing 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


the traditions, which he had collected. But he differed from them in the 
standard of his choice. He included in his Sunan not only the 'genuine 7 
traditions (as al-Bukhari and Muslim had done), but also such traditions as 
had been pronounced by some traditionists to be weak and doubtful. 

Imam Bukhari (810-870 A.D.) 

Muhammad ibn Ismail al Bukhari was born in Bukhara. Bukhari s 
grandfather Mughira was the first in his family to have converted to Islam 
from Zoroastrianism. Bukhari's father was a traditionist, but he died when 
Bukhari was just an infant. After his father's death, Bukhari's mother brought 
him to Makkah from Bukhara. 

Bukhari, although physically weak, had been endowed by God with 
great intelligence and a sharp, retentive memory. He was very fond of 
acquiring knowledge. Being a very devout and religious person, he began 
to study the hadith at the early age of eleven. He had very soon gathered all 
the traditions available in Hijaz. Then he undertook journeys for the 
collection of hadith. He continued to travel for about forty years throughout 
the Muslim world in the pursuit of knowledge. He went to all the traditionists 
to gather traditions from them. After having gathered a large number of 
them, he returned to Nishapur. By this time his fame as a traditionist had 
spread far and wide. He was therefore given a grand reception by the local 
residents. Imam Bukhari began teaching the traditions to the people. He 
wanted to settle down here. But he could not do so, as he had incurred the 
displeasure of the governor, over the question of his coming to his palace to 
give lessons to his sons. Imam Bukhari had refused to do so, for he 
considered this a degradation of hadith knowledge. Then the governor told 
Imam Bukhari that his children could go to him, but only if there were no 
other students present at that time. But Imam Bukhari did not accept even 
this condition. This enraged the governor, so he gave orders for his extradition 
from the city. Then Imam Bukhari went to Khartank, a village at Samarkand. 
He settled there and died in the year 256 A.H. 

Throughout his life Imam Bukhari was strictly pious, honest and 
generous to the poor and to students. He did not bear any ill-will towards 
anybody, not even his enemies. 

His entire life and all of his wealth were devoted to the collection of 
hadith. The greater part of his life was spent in travelling for this purpose. 
Bukhari began writing very early, compiling his first book at the age of 18, 
when he was in Madinah. Afterwards he wrote a number of books. But the 
most famous and important of all of his books is Sahih Bukhari. It is 
considered by almost all the traditionists to be the most authentic book in 
hadith literature. The author himself read it out to 90,000 students. It made 
his name immortal. 

106 Goodword Islamic Studies 

Imam Bukhari devoted the greatest care and attention to this great work. 
He is said to have been inspired to compile the Sahih after hearing a remark 
made by his teacher, Ishaq ibn Rahwayh (782-852) that he wished that some 
of the traditionists would compile short but comprehensive books containing 
only genuine traditions. Al-Bukhari thereupon resolved to work at this great 
task, and indeed, he devoted his entire life to it. He explored all the traditions 
known to him and selected only those which were entirely authentic. He 
collected 600,000 traditions from 1000 shaikhs over a period of sixteen years 
of hard work. From this collection he selected only 7275 traditions. 

The sincerity of his endeavours was underscored by his practice of 
invariably performing ablutions and saying a two rakah prayer before 
recording tradition. The selection was done with great care, each tradition 
being subjected to the closest scrutiny. He accepted a tradition only when 
he was fully satisfied that all the narrators were completely reliable. He 
also made it a point to see that all these reporters had met one another. That 
is, there was proof that one narrator had heard the hadith from another 

Another feature of his collection is that his chapters are arranged 
according to their subject matter under separate headings. These headings 
are mostly taken from some verse from the Quran. Sometimes he finds the 
wording of his heading in the traditions themselves. 

As we have seen, the main purpose of Bukhari's quest was to collect 
only genuine traditions. That is, he wanted to collect only those traditions, 
which were handed down to him on the authority of reliable companions, 
who were unanimously accepted to be honest and trustworthy. His next 
most important task was to be certain that these narrators possessed retentive 
memories. The third point he had to ensure was that the accounts they gave 
did not contradict those of other reliable narrators. 

He classified these traditions according to subject matter, such as prayer, 
pilgrimage, jihad, etc., dividing his work into more than 100 books, which 
were again subdivided into 3450 chapters. Every chapter has a heading. 
This heading provides the key to the contents of the traditions in that chapter. 
This has made his Sahih very easy to consult, even for beginners. 

Because of all these positive features, the Sahih A1 Bukhari has been 
rightly considered to be an authority next only to the Quran. Many 
commentaries have appeared, in which every aspect of the book has been 
thoroughly discussed. 

"His collection," writes Philip K. Hitti, in his book History of the Arabs 
"has acquired a quasi-sacred character. An oath taken on it is valid, as if 
taken on the Quran itself. Next to the Quran this is the book that has exerted 
the greatest influence over the Muslim mind." 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


Imam Muslim (204-261) 

Imam Muslim ibn al Hajjaj of Nishapuri belonged to the Qushayri tribe 
of Arabia, which played an important part in Islamic history. Many of his 
clan members had been the Prophet's companions. 

After the Muslim conquests, a large number of Arab families migrated 
and settled in the newly conquered provinces, where many of his tribesmen 
held important posts, e.g. Kulthum b. Iyaz was governor of Africa. His 
forefathers too occupied important positions during the time of the four 
Caliphs. Imam Muslim inherited a large fortune from his father, who was 
also a well-known traditionist of his time. 

Imam Muslim was gifted with great intelligence and a sharp memory. 
First of all, he studied Arabic literature and other sciences taught in his 
times. Later on he developed a keen interest in the study of hadith. He began 
by learning hadith from the great scholars, including Imam Bukhari, who 
were at that time in Nishapur. This town, situated in a central place enjoyed 
great prestige at that time. Afterwards, he undertook long journeys to collect 
traditions from other scholars of repute. He went to most of the important 
centres of learning in Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt, where he 
attended the lectures of most of the important traditionists of his time, 
including Ishaq ibn Rahwayh and Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal. 

After finishing his studies, he came back to Nishapur and devoted his 
life to the service of hadith. He died in 261 / 874 on account of having 
consumed too many dates. One day he was so engrossed in investigating a 
particular hadith, that he just did not notice that he had eaten all the dates in 
the container one by one. Consequently, he took ill and died in 874. 

Imam Muslim was of an excellent character — honest, truthful and peace- 
loving. He wrote many books and treatises on hadith, and other related 
subjects. The most important of his works is his Sahih. Some scholars have 
regarded it as the best work on the subject. Imam Muslim examined 300,000 
traditions before the completion of this book. Out of his large collection he 
included only 4000 traditions. One great feature of his book is that he selected 
only those traditions which were free of all defects and were unanimously 
accepted by the great hadith scholars. 

Imam Muslim strictly observed the principles of the science of hadith. 
He was even stricter than Imam Bukhari in pointing out the differences 
between the accounts of various narrators, their character and other details. 
He shows greater ability in the arrangement of traditions. 

Moreover, he wrote a long introduction to his book explaining the 
principles followed by him as regards the choice of the material for his book. 

Thanks to the utmost care having been taken in its completion, the Sahih 
of Imam Muslim has been acknowledged as one of the most authentic 

108 Goodword Islamic Studies 

collections of traditions after that of Sahih al Bukhari. So far as the beauty of 
its arrangement is concerned, it is held superior to Sahih al Bukhari. Although 
some scholars, including Imam Nasai, held the Sahih of Al Muslim superior 
to that of al Bukhari, the majority of the scholars have held the latter superior, 
the main reason being that when Imam Bukhari started working, he had no 
example before him for such a project. His contribution is very great by the 
virtue of fact that he managed to save all the authentic traditions by collecting 
them so painstakingly. On the contrary. Imam Muslim had Sahih al-Bukhari 
as an example. He had every opportunity to learn from both its salient 
features as well as its defects. Imam Muslim himself recognized the 
superiority of his predecessor. 

The Sahih of Imam Muslim is regarded as next to Al-Bukhari in accuracy 
and authenticity. Any tradition which is accepted by both Al-Bukhari and 
Muslim has been termed as 'agreed upon'. And these 'agreed upon' traditions 
are considered to be the most reliable. 

Imam Muslim has added to his work an introduction to the science of 
tradition. His work consists of 52 chapters dealing with the common subjects 
of hadith, such as the five pillars of Islam, marriage, the laws of heredity, 
war, sacrifice, manners and customs, etc. The book closes with a short chapter 
on the tafsir (exegesis) of the Quran. The longest chapter, the opening chapter 
of Sahih Muslim is on Iman (Belief). 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 



(i) The Meaning of Hadith. 

1. What is the meaning of the term 'hadith 7 ? 

2. Why did the early Muslims feel the need for the Prophet to 
explain the verses of the Quran dealing with social practices? 

3. Why is the hadith important for the proper functioning of Islamic 

(ii) Compilation of Hadith. 

1. What were the reasons for making compilations of the hadith? 

2. How were the hadith compiled and preserved during the life of 
the Prophet? 

3. How were the hadith compiled during the times of the 

4. Write on the compilation of hadith during the times of the 

5. What work on hadith was done at the time of the Followers of 
the Successors? 

6. What were the names of the earliest compilations? 

(iii) Types of Hadith 

1 . What is 'isnad' and what is 'matn'7 

2. What was the need to classify hadith? 

3. Give definitions of the following hadith: sahih, hasan, dhaif, maudu 
mutawatir, mashhur, ahad. 

(iv) Some important hadith collections 

1. What are the six works collectively known as 7 Sahih al sittah 7 ? 

2. How were the hadith evaluated before being given a name (ex. 

3. Write a note on the writers, who compiled the six canonical books 
of hadith. 

4. Write a note on the contribution of Imam Bukhari. 

5. Write a note on the contribution of Imam Muslim. 

110 Goodivord Islamic Studies 





Fiqh literally means an 
understanding and knowledge of 
something. In more than one place, 
the Quran has used the word fiqh 
in its general sense of 
'understanding/ In the early days 
of Islam the terms ilm (knowledge) 
and fiqh were frequently used 
interchangeably to denote an 
understanding of Islam in general. 

This shows that in the Prophet's 
time the term fiqh was not 
understood in the legal sense alone i.e, synonymous with law. The Prophet 
once blessed ibn Abbas (d. 68 A.H.) in these words: ' Allahumma faqqih ho 
fiddiri , that is, 'O God, give him understanding in religion'. By these words 
the Prophet did not mean exlusively knowledge of law. He meant a deeper 
understanding of religion. 

Technically, fiqh refers to the science of deducing Islamic laws from 
evidence found in the sources of Islamic jurisprudence. The sources of law 
are four and are explained in detail below: the Quran, the Summit, ijma and 
qiyas. But by extension of meaning, fiqh also means the body of Islamic law 
deduced in this way. 

Shariah literally means a 'route to the watering place' or a 'visible and 
well marked- out trail'. Hence, in Islam it means a 'clear path' or a 'highway' 
to be followed by all the believers. The Quran uses the term shariah with the 
meaning of din (religion), that is a way, ordained by God for man to travel 
on in the course of his life. The word shariah was used in the Prophet's time 
for the essentials of Islam, that is, the sum total of Islamic laws that were 
revealed to the Prophet of Islam in the form of the Quran. 

The Prophet, besides conveying the revelation, gave orders as well. 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 111 

These orders and exhortations of the Prophet were firmly based on 
revelation, but did not form part of the Quran. They are called the Sunnah, 
which is the second source of Islamic law, the first being the Quran. 

Fiqh is thus the name given to jurisprudence in Islam. In other words, 
fiqh or the science of Islamic law, is the study of one's rights and obligations, 
derived from the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, the consensus of 
opinion among the learned ( ijma ), and analogical deduction ( qiyas ). 


Fiqh is the name given to jurisprudence in Islam. In its widest sense, it 
covers all aspects of religious, political and civil life. In addition to the laws 
regulating ritual and religious observances (ibadaat), it includes also the 
whole field of family law, the law of inheritance, of property and of contract. 
In other words it makes provisions for all the legal questions that arise in 
social life (muamalat). It also includes criminal law and its procedure as well 
as constitutional law and laws regulating the administration of the state 
and the conduct of war. Laws recognized by religion should regulate all 
aspects of public and private life; the science of these laws is fiqh. 

During the time of the Prophet there was no such well-defined science 
as that which later came to be known as fiqh or jurisprudence. The only ideal 
for the early Muslims was the conduct of the Prophet. They learnt ablutions, 
saying prayers, performing Hajj, etc., under the instructions of the Prophet 
and by observing his actions. On certain occasions, cases were brought to 
the Prophet for arbitration. The Prophet's decisions were taken as models 
for in other similar cases. 

The Companions occasionally asked him questions relating to certain 
serious problems and the Prophet gave suitable replies to them. People in 
his lifetime were not interested in unnecessary philosophical discussions 
or in hairsplitting details. The Companions generally asked the Prophet 
very few questions. On one occasion when some one put unnecessary 
questions to him, the Quran asked the Companions to desist from doing so. 
The result was that the Sunnah remained mostly a general directive, 
interpreted by the early Muslims in different ways. People did not know 
the details of many a problem, even in the lifetime of the Prophet. 

What the Prophet had done was lay down certain regulations, but the 
jurists elaborated them with many more details. The reason for these further 
additions to the laws by interpretation is that the Prophet himself had made 
allowances in his commands. He left many things to the discretion of the 
community to be decided according to a given situation. 

In the early days of Islam the law was neither inflexible nor very rigidly 

112 Good-word Islamic Studies 

applied. Different and even contradictory laws relating to many problems 
could be found acceptable on the basis of argument. It seems that the Prophet 
provided a wide scope for differences by giving instructions of a general 
nature, or by validating two diverse actions in the same situation depending 
on the circumstances. The Prophet aimed at providing opportunities for the 
application of his guidelines a variety of circumstances in the future. Had 
the Prophet laid down specific and rigid rules for each problem the coming 
generations would have been prevented from exercising reason and framing 
laws according to the need of the hour. 

After the death of the Prophet the companions were spread out in 
different parts of the Muslim world. Most of them came to occupy positions 
of intellectual and religious leadership. The people of their regions 
approached them for decisions regarding various problems. They gave their 
decisions sometimes according to what they had learnt and retained in their 
memories from the commandments of the Prophet and at other times 
according to what they understood from the Quran and the Sunnah. 

The interpretation of the Quran also caused differences of opinion among 
the Companions. The points on which the Quranic injunctions were silent 
or those points not dealt with in detail in the Quran were to be explained. 
The result was that these verses were sometimes interpreted in the light of 
the traditions of the Prophet, and sometimes on the basis of the jurists' 
opinions. Moreover since the traditions themselves were diverse, it was 
natural that there were differences. 

In some cases, a Companion did not know a particular hadith; hence he 
decided the problem on the basis of his own opinion. When the relevant 
hadith was brought to his notice, he withdrew his personal judgement. On 
this account, Umar, the second caliph, changed his opinion several times. 

On certain occasions it so happened that the relevant hadith was 
available but the reporter himself could not understand its real meaning. 
Ibn Umar is reported to have narrated a hadith from the Prophet that a 
deceased person is punished on account of the mourning of his relatives. 
When this tradition came to the attention of Aisha, she rejected it saying that 
Ibn Umar might have been mistaken, or might have forgotten some relevant 
part of the tradition. She also observed that the hadith reported by Ibn Umar 
goes against the Quranic verse: 'No soul bears the burden of another.' 

The Companions, however, tried their best to base their decisions on 
the Quran and Sunnah. They aspired to keep their decisions and personal 
judgements as much close to those of the Prophet as possible. Despite their 
differences, they did not deviate from the spirit of the Quran and Hadith. 

The Successors took their stand on the opinions expressed by the 
Companions. They retained in their memory the hadith of the Prophet and 
the opinions of the Companions and made attempts to reconcile opposite 

Goodzuord Islamic Studies - Grade 10 I 113 

opinions. The Successors exercised ijtihad 1 in two ways. First of all, they 
were not afraid of giving preference to the opinions of one Companion over 
another, and sometimes, even to the opinions of a Successor over those of a 
Companion. Secondly, they engaged in original thinking themselves. In fact, 
the real formation of Islamic law starts in a more or less professional manner 
with the Successors. 

With the Successors, Islamic law began to take its formal shape and 
develop into an independent subject of study. In this age the principles that 
governed fiqh were the Quran, Sunnah and Qiyas (deductive reasoning). 
The Prophet himself introduced these principles. 

As we have seen above, the practice of Islamic jurisprudence came into 
existence with the advent of Islam, but it developed into a regular discipline 
in the second century A.H. Abu Hanifa played the leading role in this 
gigantic task of compilation and systematization of Islamic Law. By Abu 
Hanifa' s time the accepted rules of fiqh had not been collected and had not 
yet been systematized into a regular discipline, if they were perpetuated, it 
was by being passed on verbally. There were no strict methods of reasoning, 
no rules for derivation of orders, no grading of Traditions, and no principles 
of analogical deduction. Fiqh had a long way to go before becoming a system. 

At the time of the Successors, Islamic law began to take its formal shape 
and develop into an independent subject of study. Finally, four orthodox 
schools of legal thought emerged. These are called madhhab in Arabic. The 
madhhabs were named after the famous jurists of the time: Abu Hanifa (699- 
767A.D.), Malik ibn Anas (719-795 A.D.) al-Shafii (767- 819 A.D.) and ibn 
Hambal (d. 855 A.D.) 

Abu Hanifa is considered the founder of the Hanafi school of law 
(madhhab) and his thinking was committed to writing by his disciple, Abu 
Yusuf (d. 768) in his work "Kitab al-Kharaj". Of all the founders of schools 
of Islamic Law, Abu Hanifa was the most open- minded, trying to use the 
sources of law in such a manner that future generations could make use of 
his rulings, even in very changed circumstances. The adherents of the Hanafi 
school are most numerous and live in the countries previously forming part 
of the Ottoman Empire, in Central Asia and on the Indian subcontinent. 

Imam Malik ibn Abas (d. 795) was the leader of the Medinan school and 
his work 'Al-Muwatta' is the oldest surviving corpus of Muslim law. 'Al- 
Muwatta' ( The Path Made Smooth) is the chief work of Imam Malik and the 
Malikite school of jurisprudence is based on this book. It deals not only 
with the sayings of the Prophet, but also with the opinions of several famous 
jurists of Madinah. It also contains Imam Malik's personal views on various 
matters of Islamic law. To Imam Malik the practice of Madinah, the city of 
the Prophet, is the primary source of law, and the ijma (consensus) and ra'y 
(opinion) is the secondary source. His followers comprise Malik, school of 

114 Goodword Islamic Studies 

thought and are found in northern and eastern Africa with the exception of 
Lower Egypt as well as in Maghreb and Andalusia. 

The founder of the Shafi'i school, al-Shafi'i studied under Imam Malik 
in Madinah but lived and taught mostly in Baghdad and Cairo. His followers 
can be found in areas of Lower Egypt, Palestine, Syria, western and southern 
Arabia, and the East Indies. 

Imam Hambal (d. 855) was the most orthodox of the jurists of his times. 
The Hambali school has the flwest adherents and in the modern world it is 
centered in Saudi Arabia, The Wahabis were his followers. 

The Shias have their own legal school, based on the concept of the 
infallible imam, tracing his spiritual descent from 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. 

Every Muslim has to follow one of the four orthodox schools of thought 
( madhhab ) in all matters pertaining to religion and social life. 


There are four sources of fiqh or Islamic law: a) Quran; b) Hadith; c) 
Ijma; b) Qiyas. 

a) The Quran 

The Quran is the fundamental 
and main source of Islamic 
jurisprudence from which all other 
sources derive their authority. It 
consists of the very word of God 
revealed to the Prophet Muhammad 
over a period of twenty-three years 
(608-632 A.D.). That is why law in 
Islam is divine in origin. 

The texts of the Quran 
connected with the rules of Islamic 
law occur in the following chapters: 

Al Baqara, An-Nisa, Al-Imran, Al- 
Maidah, An-Nur, and Banu lsrail. 

These rules pertain to: 

i. Reform in unlawful heathen customs, such as gambling, drinking of 
intoxicants, usury, etc. 

ii. Social reforms dealing with matters such as marriage, the position of 
women, divorce, the chastity of men and women, etc. 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 115 

iii. Criminal laws relating to punishment for theft, slander, murder etc. 

iv. International law of war and peace, and directions relating to the 

treatment of non-Muslims and the protection of their rights, etc. 

b) The Hadith 

The Quran is the fundamental basic source 
of Islamic jurisprudence. Next in importance and 
authority comes the hadith. The hadith itself 
derives its authority and legal validity from the 

Hadith means 'narration' of the sayings, 
deeds and approval of the Prophet. The Quran 
generally deals with the broad principles or 
essentials of religion, going into details in rare 
cases. The Prophet himself usually supplied the 
details, either by showing in his conduct how an 
injunction should be carried out, or by giving 
verbal explanation. 

The Quran says, 

" Obey God and obey the messenger." (4:58) 

" Whatever the messenger gives you, take it... and whatever he forbids, 
abstain from it..." (59: 7) 

"And tridy, in the messenger of God you have a good example for 
those who look to God and the Last Day and remembers God always ." 

( 33 : 21 ) 

In the light of these verses one can infer that following of the hadith is 
binding on us. The hadith provides us with guidance in matters of 
legislation. It does not deviate from the Quran: it is in compliance with it. 

The Quran and the the hadith are the main sources, to which all other 
sources are secondary. The Book, however, is the first source and the 
structure on which the hadith is based, and from which it does not deviate. 

The importance of the hadith is increased by the fact that the Prophet 
Muhammad not only theorised, but also had the opportunity to put its 
teachings into practice in all affairs of life, both spiritual and temporal. 

c) Ijma (consensus of Juristic opinion) 

Ijma is the third source of Islamic jurisprudence. It is derived from the 
Arabic word jama (to add) and in Islamic legal terminology, ijma signifies 


Goodword Islamic Studies 

consensus of opinion among the jurists of a particular age on a question of 
law. Jurists have defined ijma as an "agreement of the Muslim jurists of a 
particular period on any matter or point of Islamic law." 

Ijma derives its authority or legal validity from the Quran and hadith. 
The Quran says: "Obey God and obey the Prophet and those amongst you 
who have authority" (4:57); and also, "If you yourself do not know, then 
question those who do." (16: 57). 

The Prophet Muhammad says: "My followers will never agree upon 
what is wrong." 

Ijma may be based on the Quran, hadith or analogy. This is the view of 
all the Sunni schools. That ijma is an essential principle of Sunni 
jurisprudence, was proven by its use immediately after the death of the 
Prophet. The Muslim community acted upon it as soon as they were called 
upon to solve the first and most important constitutional problem that arose 
on the Prophet's death. That is, the selection of the head of the community. 
The election of Abu Bakr to the caliphate by the votes of the people was 
based, as is well known, on the principle of ijma. All the Sunnis accept it as 
a source of Islamic jurisprudence. The Shafi'is and the Malikis recognize 
the authority of ijma not merely in religious matters but also in temporal 

Ijma is responsible for the further development of Islamic law after the 
completion of the Prophet's mission to humanity. Islam is a preserved 
religion and its Prophet is the last one. In the Quran only fundamental 
principles of legislation are given and in the matters on which there is no 
explicit order, God has permitted the exercise of ra'y or 'individual opinion'. 
But a consensus of opinions of jurists, or ijma , is superior to individual 
opinions of experts on Islamic legal science. 

The Quran is the main source of jurisprudence. All the other sources 
derive their authority from it. It contains all the fundamental principles 
required for the further development of legal ruling. In spiritual matters, it 
is conclusive, but in temporal matters it merely lays down the basic principles. 
The details are to be filled in from the hadith. In the absence of any Qur'anic 
instruction, or because of the lack of hadith on any point of law, one is 
permitted to use one's discretion, provided it is in conform with the spirit 
of the Quran and the hadith. This is not only lawful but also laudable. 
Opinion may take various shapes. When it is individual, it is called ijtihad 
or ra'y, and when there is a concurrence of the opinion of a number of jurists, 
it is called ijma. In other words, ijma is a collective opinion of jurists. Thus it 
is quite evident that ijma is a superior type of opinion. In the absence of any 
relevant order of the Quran or Hadith, ijma assumes the status of law. 

Goodword Islamic Studies - Grade 10 


d) Qiyas (analogical deduction) 

Qiyas is an important source of Islamic jurisprudence and is regarded 
as an instrument in solving legal issues on the basis of reasoning based on 
original texts. All four schools of Sunni jurisprudence accepted that in 
matters, which have not been provided for by the Quran or percepts of the 
Prophet and ijma, the law might be deduced from what has been laid down 
by any of these three authorities through the use of qiyas, which is generally 
translated as "analogy 7 . 

Qiyas literally means "to weigh" or "to measure" but, as a term of Islamic 
jurisprudence, it denotes the process by which a rule of law is deduced 
from the original text in view of a common cause ( illat ). 

As a source of law, qiyas is defined by the Hanafis in the following 
manner ""an extension of law from the original text. In this process analogical 
deduction or qiyas is applied to a particular case by means of a common illat 
or effective cause." 

Qiyas is a process of deduction by which the law of a text is applied 
to cases, which, though not covered by the literal language of the text, are 
governed by the reasoning given in the text. The reason of the text, or illat, 
or effective cause, is the sukn 7 , i.e., a constituent of analogy and the extension 
of the law of the text. This process is applied in such cases, with legal effect 
(hukum), which are not directly covered by the text. Analogy is a subsidiary 
source of law and derives its authority from the Quran, hadith and ijma, 
which are its bases (asl) or texts (nass). 

Qiyas in the light of the Quran and hadith 

In deciding legal issues, the Prophet Muhammad himself always relied 
on the Quran and on qiyas. Instructions to Mu"adh bin Jabal clearly show 
how he approved of qiyas in deciding questions of law. In the 10 th year of 
Hijra, Mu'adh was appointed governor of Yemen. Before he proceeded there, 
he met the Prophet, who asked him: ""How shall you decide cases?"" Mu'adh 
ibn Jabal replied, ""According to the Book of God (Quran)"". The Prophet 
said, ""And if it is not (to be found) in the Book of God?'" Mu'adh replied, I 
will decide them according to the Hadith." The Prophet remarked, "Even if 
you don't find it in the Hadith?' Mu'adh said, "Then I will use my discretion". 
The Prophet appreciated this reply. This indicated the approval of the Prophet 
Muhammad of qiyas as a source of fiqh. 

All the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence accepted qiyas as a valid 
source of law. But qiyas may be used only in the light of the Quran and 
hadith, otherwise it will be invalid. 

118 Goodword Islamic Studies 


(i) The Meaning of Fiqh 

1. What is meant by fiqh? 

2. What is the scope of jurisprudence in Islam? 

3. What are the sources of fiqh? 

(ii) The Origin and development of fiqh. 

1. How did fiqh develop? 

2. Who was the first person to give an interpretation of the Quran 
and its commandments? 

3. How did the traditions of the Prophet supplement the Quranic 

4. What is meant by the term 'madhhab'? 

5. What are the four basic schools of Islamic law? 

6. Who is considered the founder of the Hanafi school? 

7. Who is the founder of the Maliki school of thought? 

8. Who is considered the founder of the Shafi'i school of thought? 

9. Who is the founder of the Hanabali school of law? 

10. In what parts of the Islamic world is each of the schools 

(iii) Sources of fiqh 

1. Write on the Quran as a source of fiqh. 

2. Write on hadith as a source of fiqh. 

3. What is meant by 'ijma' and in what sense is it considered a source 
of fiqh? 

4. What is the meaning of the term 'qiyas' and how is it used in fiqh? 

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